ATC Strike in Europe – an insider viewBack to Forum
Anonymous27 Jun 2014
The current round of strikes in Europe (first France then the Begocontrol) have been extensively reported in the media but not the reasons why. As somebody who works in the industry I thought BT readers might be interested in the background.
All ATC control is currently being reorganised as a result of a programme called SESAR. (Single European Sky ATM Research) which seeks to remove the multiple control levels of ATM control in Europe and adopt a control policy based on flight requirements and not national borders. The Single European Sky (SES) As a point of comparison the US has one control body (the FAA) and Europe has 37.
Eurocontrol estimates that the failure to implement SES resulted in 70 million minutes of delays for aircraft in 2012. That is the equivalent of 133 aircraft being grounded for an entire year. The costs of this are high:
EUR 6 billion in lost productivity by travelers spending unnecessary time on aircraft
EUR 3 billion in unnecessary operating costs
7.8 million tonnes of unnecessary carbon emissions
SES would transform the costly and inefficient patchwork of 37 civilian air traffic control organizations in Europe into a seamless and efficient air traffic management system safely accommodating growth in demand for travel and shipping. The SES goals include improving safety, reducing delays, cutting emissions, modernizing infrastructure and creating 320,000 jobs. Independent research confirmed that it can be done without a single controller losing his or her job or moving location and yet despite that French ATC trade unions are demanding pay increases for their “inconvenience and disruption”27 Jun 2014