Air traffic controllers strike: a record mobilization this Thursday? The forecasts

Air traffic controllers' unions are planning a "record mobilization" this Thursday, April 25.

Air traffic controllers strike: a record mobilization this Thursday? The forecasts

Air traffic controllers' unions are planning a "record mobilization" this Thursday, April 25. 70% of flights, or more, could be affected by the strike.

Air traffic controllers are angry and they want to make it known. The main union in the sector which represents 60% of the profession, followed since by all air traffic controller union organizations, announced a one-day strike this Thursday, April 25, 2024, while the spring holidays are still in full swing for many French people. . And the movement will be “very strongly followed” according to the president of the National Federation of Aviation and its Trades (Fnam), Pascal de Izaguirre, who gave a press conference on Tuesday April 23.

A first estimate of the number of strikers among the controllers provided by the airlines and obtained by Les Échos estimated up to 70% of flights canceled this Thursday at the country's major airports, i.e. hundreds of cancellations and delays to be expected for The travellers. But this proportion can still change, the strikers had until this Tuesday noon to declare themselves. Everything suggests that the strike “will have a huge impact” on air traffic, added the president of Fnam.

“We have a record mobilization, and therefore we must expect very strong disruptions, very big delays,” insisted a national secretary of the SNCTA to AFP on Monday evening. If almost three quarters of air traffic controllers could go on strike nationally according to forecasts, depending on the airport the number of canceled flights should vary. However, it should remain consistent in all infrastructures. In Paris, the mobilization promises to be significant: “We were told of 75% (of flights canceled) at Orly and 65% at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle” specified Pascal de Izaguirre.

In the south of France too, we must expect flight cancellations. At Nice Côte d'Azur airport, up to 60% of flights are expected to be disrupted. In Marseille, the forecasts are barely better with one flight in two which will be postponed or canceled according to Marseille Provence airport.

In terms of strikes, the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) generally reveals its forecasts the day before the day of mobilization. Travelers should a priori be kept informed of the situation of their flight on Tuesday. Note that French flights will not be the only ones affected, planes departing or arriving in foreign countries but crossing the skies above France also risk being affected by this strike, underlines Les Échos. According to the newspaper, all air traffic in Europe will indeed be impacted by the mobilization of French air traffic controllers.

At the origin of this strike: a new version of a protocol aimed at restructuring air navigation services deemed simply "unacceptable" by the main union in the sector, the SNCTA. It is particularly a question of reorganizing the work of air traffic controllers in order to counterbalance the expected increase in air traffic. In exchange for this, hiring and pay increases are promised.

Started fifteen months ago, the negotiations however seem to be slipping. The SNCTA even mentions a “failure of conciliation”, relays Le Figaro in particular. “The version published [by the DGAC editor’s note] is in no way signable for the SNCTA which considers it a provocation if not an insult,” the union states on its website. A strike notice was therefore filed for the day of April 25.