Europe’s air traffic controller unions are urging their members to take strike action against fresh Single European Sky legislation.
For the first time in more than ten years the Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Coordination (ATCEUC) is calling on its 14,000 members to join a pan-European action day on 10 October against what it calls the European Commission’s (EC) ‘attempt to deregulate every profession that ensures the passenger safety’.
“Less than five years have passed since the adoption of Single European Sky II (SES2) and despite its overambitious targets have not yet been reached, the EC is trying to change again the legislative framework for aviation in Europe by setting even more unrealistic targets,” said ATCEUC.
“It is now called SES2+ and, together with the related Reference Period 2 targets (RP2), it demands a tenfold increase of flight safety by 2020, while at the same time drastically reducing costs of air traffic management and related services by 50 per cent.”
The ATCEUC said this apparent contradiction constitutes ‘a real danger for the future of safe and efficient ATM, where any change has to be studied carefully and agreed with all stakeholders, in order to ensure that safety is not jeopardized’.
ATCEUC said it has participated in many social dialogue meetings on SES2+ and the related Reference Period 2 (RP2) but that the EC has chosen to ignore all suggestions submitted by the stakeholders, which included European Union member states.
“It seems that, for the EC, social dialogue is just a smoke screen that serves no other purpose than to give the false impression of a consultation procedure,” it said.
“The real objectives of SES2+ and the related Reference Period 2 targets (RP2) are clear: to liberalise the provision of Air Navigation Services, to deregulate the working conditions of thousands of staff in ATM and eventually to put this essential public interest service in the hands of a few wealthy individuals and companies that have been lobbying to this effect.”
ATCEUC said it was calling on members of the European Parliament to reject them for the sake of flight safety and to ensure a viable and safe future for European ATM. “To do otherwise will simply ignore the interests of the people, workers and passengers,” it said.