Breaking: Belgocontrol air traffic controllers on strike

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The news that just reached the Luchtzak web team: the Belgian air traffic controllers did reach an agreement, yet hours later they started a wildcat strike!

From about 16:30, no plane can take off from Brussels Airport! Brussels Airport still allowed planes to land  until around 17h. The action will last until 22:15. Only 30 aircraft movements will be recorded until then.

Belgocontrol leaders insist they are looking for solutions, reports the airport.

The Belgian guild of air traffic controllers (BGATC) asked its members to report sick. It is an action that was already underway for some time but now that a social agreement has been reached, they intensify their action,” says Dominique Dehaene, spokesman for Belgocontrol, the company in charge of air traffic in Belgium.

Belgocontrol announced Tuesday the signature of a social agreement in the social conflict that was ongoing since mid-March. The agreement focuses on the regulation of the availability. The minimum age at which air traffic controllers may retire will be systematically increased to 58 years.

Same story for Charleroi

For now, only the landings are still possible but from now (17:10 ), take-offs are not allowed. The situation is constantly evaluated,” said the spokesman of Charleroi airport, Vincent Grassa.

Liege Airport is not affected by the action.

European airlines associations have already expressed their dismay at such an action in a country that has just been hit by terror actions and is trying to revive.

“This action by air traffic controllers is a kick in the teeth for all the airline and airport staff who have worked so hard to reconnect Brussels to the world after the appalling terrorist attack just three weeks ago. It is the height of irresponsibility to cut a vital service and doing so without warning can only be seen as malicious.

If we cannot count on simple human decency from such highly-compensated professionals then it’s time for governments to find ways to guarantee the availability of air traffic control services,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

More information soon, please check our forum topic:

http://www.luchtzak.be/forums/viewtopic.php?p=332679#p332679

The Luchtzak web team also expresses its outrage at an action from one single union, right after an agreement has been signed with all trade unions.  If some people want to destroy this country, could they please say so right away! And if some are reneging their signature after only a few hours, let’s replace them with others who are willing to work or by military controllers. Immediate action is requested from the responsible people!

Finalised by André Orban

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