Controllers' strike forces Spanish airports to close

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Controllers' strike forces Spanish airports to close

Post by GD on Fri 03 Dec 2010, 8:15 pm

Spain has had to close most of its airspace after air traffic controllers began an unannounced strike.
Spanish airport authority Aena said the action began at 1700 (1600 GMT), when controllers began abandoning their posts, claiming sick leave.
Aena said the whole of Spanish airspace was now closed except for the southern region of Andalucia.
The controllers have been involved in a dispute with Aena over hours and conditions.
Madrid's Barajas airport was one of the first to be affected, along with airports on Majorca, Ibiza and Menorca in the Balearic Islands.
The BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Madrid says the action has disrupted air traffic across the country at the start of a holiday weekend. Many passengers were left stranded on runways.'Crime'
Aena has called the action irresponsible, accusing the controllers of holding the country hostage, and has threatened to take punitive action against them.
"The decision to paralyse air traffic in the country is extremely serious and, as well as being extremely serious misconduct that could be punished with disciplinary dismissals... it constitutes a crime," Aena said.
It is not clear how long the protest will last, but according to the Spanish airline Iberia that Barajas airport could remain closed until 2400 GMT. (from BBC)


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