Trade unions still concerned over future of air traffic control (

February 12, 2014

European trade unions are still up in arms over the reduction of air traffic control budgets proposed for the 2015-2019 period. These cuts were ratified by member state experts during the Single Sky Committee meeting, on 4 February (see Europolitics 4803). The reductions are less than those initially proposed by the European Commission but are still “very challenging for air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and their workers,” says Riccardo Rubini, chair of the Air Traffic Management Committee of the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF).

The Commission initially proposed to reduce global air traffic control costs in Europe by 2.5% a year between 2015 and 2019 – in other words, a reduction of 12.5% for the whole period. Experts from the member states finally settled on 10%. The experts also reviewed air traffic control unit costs – the cost of air traffic control per plane – and agreed on a 15% reduction over the five-year period, even though the Commission proposed 22.41%. However, opposition from member states (France, Spain and Italy) allowed for some of the EU executive’s original proposals to be adjusted.

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