Strikes and walkouts by French air traffic controllers have been commonplace over the last couple of years, but following recent strikes, the French government is now hoping to improve the situation for passengers.
Ministers have introduced a new bill that will ensure passengers are less disrupted during strike action by French air traffic controllers.
Currently, air traffic controllers planning a strike are not required to tell their superiors, although unions must issue industrial action notices in advance.
The new law, which was approved at the Assemblée Nationale, states that air traffic controllers intending to join a strike are required to inform their superiors at least 48 hours in advance. The legislation is already in place for employees of the SNCF national railways and Paris public transport operator RATP. Air traffic controllers are not happy with the new legislation.
It means that the French Civil Aviation Authority DGAC, which instructs airlines to cancel a percentage of flights when strikes are planned, will be able to manage the situation more effectively.
The strikes impact many European flights passing through France’s airspace, it is hoped the new legislation will improve services throughout Europe.
The law does not limit air traffic controllers’ rights to undertake industrial action, nor does it guarantee a minimum number of flights during strike hours.
With the Olympic Games scheduled for July, the largest union representing air traffic controllers, SNCTA, has said it is operating an ‘Olympic truce’ – walkouts are suspended until the event has finished.