Our Rights, Your Safety

The full text of the study is available here Study on efficiency capacity and growth in European aviation

The Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Coordination (ATCEUC) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) launch a petition to oppose the European Commission Communication and Staff Working Document “Practices Favouring Air Traffic Continuity ”. The proposed measures encroach the national sovereignty of Member States and contradict with the Article 153 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union which clearly states that the right to strike is excluded from EU competencies.

ATCEUC and ETF firmly believe that the only way to address conflicts is to have proper social dialogue. Better practices have been promoted by the Air Traffic Management (ATM) social partners in the Toolbox for successful Social Dialogue in Air Traffic Management”.

Why do we start this petition?

Every day, Air Navigation Service Providers and their staff achieve an impressive level of safety and quality services to all airspace users. While ATCEUC and ETF understand that European citizens would prefer even less delays and more capacity, the staff representatives do believe that Europe has to be proud of its Air Traffic Management system efficiency.

In an earlier study based on official EU data and entitled ‘Efficiency, capacity and growth in European aviation’, both ETF and ATCEUC have demonstrated that while constantly blaming the air traffic controllers for the disturbances caused by strikes, the airlines themselves are responsible for over 50 percent of flight delays in Europe.

Disruptions caused by ATC industrial actions represent only for 1% of the total delay in 2015 (Eurocontrol official figures).

ATCEUC and ETF deeply regret the European Commission attempt to limit indirectly such a fundamental right as the right to strike (guaranteed by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights) by encouraging measures such as individual notification, protection of 100% of overflights and air traffic peak periods.

This Communication seeks to reduce ATCOs’

  • ability to defend themselves 
  • capacity to raise their voice to maintain and improve the safety of the European sky.

No doubt, this initiative has only one aim and expects only one tangible result: to restrict the right to strike in Europe.

Therefore, ATCEUC, ETF, air traffic controllers and all European citizens need to voice their firm opposition to it.