Air traffic control unions welcome blow to Single European Sky


Air traffic control unions welcome blow to Single European Sky

Unions representing staff working for UK air traffic control provider, NATS, today (Wednesday) welcomed a call by the French and German governments' air traffic management providers to abandon plans for a new legislative programme for a Single European Sky (SES2).

UK unions see the letter from two of Europe’s largest ATM providers as a blow to the Commission’s proposals.

Prospect and PCS and unions, who represent 4,000 ATM staff, welcomed the decision. They called on the UK government, the Department for Transport and NATS to write to the European Commission asking them to abandon SES2 and refocus on existing SES legislation.

Under the Single European Skies (SES) proposals, the European Commission wants to halve Air Traffic Management (ATM) costs by 2020, resulting in huge job losses across Europe.

PCS and Prospect will be demonstrating outside the Department for Transport at 2pm today (12 June) against plans to cut jobs and costs in air traffic control. Staff will hand in a letter calling on the Minister, Simon Burns to support the French and German position.

NATS staff fear that the Commission’s proposals will affect the service provided to airlines and passengers and put safety at risk through over-stretched air traffic management resources.

Emily Boase, Prospect National Secretary, said: “The decision by Germany and France must be a blow to the Commission’s proposal for new SES legislation. Given the UK's prominence in European ATM service delivery we are calling on the UK to publicly support the French and German position.”

Jeremy Gautrey, PCS Aviation Group Secretary, said: “Action taken by ETF unions across 11 counties, including a three day strike in France, shows the strength of feeling among professional ATM staff. The UK government now has the opportunity to seize the lead in opposing legislation that will damage the ATM industry.”

Prospect represents 3,000 people working as controllers, systems engineers, scientists and specialists. PCS represents 1,000 NATS operational and support staff. Both unions are affiliated to the European Transport Federation.