In France, air traffic controllers have planned a three - day strike in protest against a European Commission(EC) proposal to create a single air space for the continent.
France’s civil aviation authority asked airlines serving airports in Paris, Lyon, Nice, Marseille, Toulouse, and Bordeaux to reduce flights by 50 percent starting early Tuesday, through late Thursday. The EC is proposing to centralize the air-traffic control, instead of having each European member state monitor its own airspace. The European body says that the change could cut costs, reduce delays, and triple the region’s airspace. However, air controllers are saying that the Single European Sky project will affect safety and working conditions. They say the proposed changes are also in violation of national sovereignty and are a major step towards privatization. According to a spokesman for the European Transport Workers’ Federation in Brussels representing thousands of air traffic workers, similar protest strikes are expected to take place in Belgium, Hungary, Italy, and Portugal, on Wednesday. The strikes come ahead of a scheduled speech by the European Union’s transportation commissioner Siim Kallas. The commissioner was expected to formally announce the proposal to a central body in Brussels. Air France-KLM had advised passengers with reservations scheduled over the next few days to cancel their flights as it is expecting major flight disruptions. The airline said it was making arrangements to accommodate all passengers with intercontinental flight reservations.