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French air traffic controllers strike over plans for Single European Sky

21-Jul-2010 9:48 AM

French air traffic controllers commenced a strike on the evening of 20-Jul-2010 in protest over plans to create a Single European Sky (Wall Street Journal/CNN international, 20-Jul-2010). Four of the nine French air traffic control unions said their members wouldn't turn up for work until 22-Jul-2010 to protest the plan, which may lead to possible job losses and changes to working conditions. The new system will have six air-traffic control regions, instead of individual countries operating their own controls as they do now. France's airspace authorities will be combined with those of five other countries - Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium – to form the Functional Airspace Block Europe Central (FABEC). The FABEC area covers 1.7 million sqkm and is characterised by closely interlaced civil and military traffic routes. National secretary for the air traffic controllers represented by the CGT union, Olivier Joffrin, said there may be more strikes in Sep-2010, when firmer integration plans are expected, if the plan moved forward without being modified. [more-Monarch Airlines] [more - French Civil Aviation Authority] [more - Budapest Airport]