Tobias2702
Topic Author
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Europe-wide ATC Strike Ahead: 10 October

Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:42 pm

Sorry if this should have been discussed before; I couldn't find anything (the news is around at least since 3 September for France; today the Germans decided to join as well)

Air traffic controllers from several European (i.e. EU) countries are planning a joint strike on 10 October (though details will be only announced during the following weeks, so nothing is definite yet). Thus, they want to protest against proposals for a joint EU airsoace, called "Single European Sky".

sources:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/ar...ction-cause-flight-disruption.html (English)
http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaf...-europaweitem-streik-12577995.html (German)
http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/...ike-action-planned-for-10-october/ (English)
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speedbird128
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RE: Europe-wide ATC Strike Ahead: 10 October

Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:09 pm

Strange until now I had heard nothing of this... I know there have been grumbles about how they want to run things. But a strike is news to me...
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DAL763ER
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RE: Europe-wide ATC Strike Ahead: 10 October

Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:19 pm

Would be nice if the EU commission took a Reagan-like approach to this strike. Why would anyone go on strike and screw the whole continent's travel plans?
 
PHX787
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RE: Europe-wide ATC Strike Ahead: 10 October

Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:01 am

Well, this ain't so much news to me. It seems like every month I hear about a strike being threatened.

Quoting DAL763ER (Reply 2):
Would be nice if the EU commission took a Reagan-like approach to this strike. Why would anyone go on strike and screw the whole continent's travel plans?

Cuz European unions don't care about the public  
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speedbird128
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RE: Europe-wide ATC Strike Ahead: 10 October

Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:40 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 3):
don't care about the public

Nice. Do you even know what the proposed strike is about?

The public is the very thing this strike is about (ie, we actually do care about their safety and see these ridiculous targets as compromising that). Their philosophies (temfold increase in safety simultaneous with a 50% reduction in costs) are not synonymous with flight safety. It will likely not lead to improved safety. This sounds like a politicians idea. Or somebody that has never separated 2 aircraft.

As an old employer used to say "We will never compromise safety". Yet their actions were exactly the opposite when it came to cutting staffing levels (to below 33% of required numbers) and "reducing costs". So it was adapted by us on the floor to be "We will never compromise safety unless it saves money".

As of today, I have still not heard anything official about this strike, and so therefor I can only assume that somebody has made an assumption somewhere.
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GCT64
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RE: Europe-wide ATC Strike Ahead: 10 October

Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:35 pm

I am not an ATC expert, but I can see why controllers in certain countries are worried.

If I have understood it correctly, EU national airspace boundaries will be removed and replaced with Functional Airspace Blocks* (FABs) with 9 FABs covering Europe.

To take an example: FAB EC (FAB Europe Central) covers Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland.

It is inferred that, in time, the whole FAB could be controlled by one provider ... presumably the lowest bidder (as always) which is likely to be a privatised, non-state provider. So a scenario where all the French en route controllers could be replaced by staff working in, say, the Netherlands or Luxembourg (places that have a track record of offering "Apple and Amazon"-like tax incentives to encourage businesses to locate there) becomes feasible/realistic/likely (pick your own viewpoint).

If I was a French controller, I would be worried by FABs and the consequent possible effect on my livelihood.

*"A FAB means an airspace block based on operational requirements and established regardless of State boundaries, where the provision of air navigation services and related ancillary functions are optimised and/or integrated." (Eurocontrol)
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speedbird128
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RE: Europe-wide ATC Strike Ahead: 10 October

Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:44 pm

Quoting GCT64 (Reply 5):

Don't believe everything you read about the FABEC.... The glossy brochure is great.

But when you start messing around with sovereign airspace things become tricky.

I personally believe there is room for some optimisation (for a start the dinosaur methods in my centre could do with some evolution), however this whole throw everybody into one room and lets rock and roll is not my cup of tea...

Where will they stop with the cost cuts?

We have equipment that they decided to take away to save money. We argued that it was essential (as noted in our AIP) to us. So they have recently removed this from the AIP and we expect it to be done away with in due course.

I for one, do not believe that these 10-fold increase in safety demands coupled with a 50% reduction in costs will be obtainable. Ever. FABEC or not.

We asked from day one of the FABEC pipe-dream what the end-game was. Now it comes out in the washing.
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Aesma
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RE: Europe-wide ATC Strike Ahead: 10 October

Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:44 pm

Quoting DAL763ER (Reply 2):
Would be nice if the EU commission took a Reagan-like approach to this strike. Why would anyone go on strike and screw the whole continent's travel plans?

The EU commission has no such power, indeed it has no power at all if a country doesn't want to follow. At least in France there is no simple way to fire people, and certainly not over a strike, it would be of the utmost illegality.

As for everyone's travel plan, well, what's the point of the strike if it doesn't affect anybody ?

Why would employers not negotiate in good faith before ending up with strikes ?
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