There National Federation of Aviation and its Professions (FNAM) welcomed the adoption, on Wednesday by Parliament, of the Law relating to the predictability oforganization of air navigation services in the event of social unrest.
“ Since September 2022, French air transport has experienced more than forty days of strikes by air navigation controller engineers (ICNA). The consequences of these so-called “solidarity” strikes on passengers and the activity of French and foreign airlines were very significant. The cost of cancellations for operators was thus estimated at 8 million euros per day on average and the cost of delays at an additional 6 million euros per day.», declared FNAM, citing figures from Eurocontrol.
“ Airlines based in France, and their passengers, who are the most affected by these strike movements, have for years already been demanding the establishment by the State of a system guaranteeing better predictability for passengers in the form of an obligation for air traffic controllers to individually declare their intention to strike at least 48 hours before the start of the conflict », underlined the FNAM.
This is done with the adoption of this law aimed at organizing air navigation services in the event of a social movement: from now on, the striking air traffic controllers -“the absence of which is likely to directly affect the completion of flights», according to Senator Vincent Capo-Canellas (Centrist Union) at the initiative of this bill- have the obligation to declare themselves individually at least 48 hours before the start of their walkout, in order to allow airlines to organize and limit flight cancellations. In the National Assembly, the text was adopted with 85 votes against 30, the left having opposed it, considering the text as “a threat to the right to strike“.
In reaction, the minority unions representing air traffic controllers, including the CGT and Force Ouvrière, have filed a strike notice for this Monday, November 20, 2023. Until now, unions in air traffic control must file any strike notice five days before a movement, but strikers do not have to declare their individual participation, unlike other employees in the air transport sector (Diard law adopted in 2012).
The government, for its part, is committed to reviewing the terms of the minimum service system, which has applied to air traffic controllers since 1985. Between 2005 and 2016, France recorded 249 days of air traffic control strikes, compared to 34 in Italy, 44 in Greece, and less than ten in the other member states, according to deputy Damien Adam (renaissance) who brought the text to the National Assembly.