France – question: why do you make it so easy for me to make fun of you?  I just got this from my travel people:

Planned air traffic controllers’ strike on 23-27 February liable to disrupt flights nationwide

Four air traffic controllers’ unions are scheduled on 23-27 February to stage a nationwide strike in protest at job cuts and to denounce a proposed change in the status of Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC), the country’s civil aviation authority. However, the Syndicat national des contrôleurs aériens (SNCTA) union, which represents more than 50% of air traffic controllers, opted not to participate in the industrial action. The DGAC stated that it would announce on 22 February the disruption to flight schedules that the strike is expected to cause.

Comment and Analysis

While the SNCTA’s abstention from the strike may somewhat mitigate its impact, a significant mobilisation by members of participating unions has the potential to significantly disrupt flights at airports across the country, including the capital Paris’ Charles de Gaulle (CDG)and Orly (ORY) airports, given that the industrial action is scheduled to last for five days. The work stoppages could also lead to an increased demand for alternative transport options such as rail services. In addition, travellers can expect knock-on delays, as the authorities attempt to clear the backlog of passengers, even after the strike ends.

The upcoming walkout is meant to denounce 190 job cuts and the mooted restructuring of DGAC. The unions claims that the latter plan, in line with a European project called ‘FABEC’ which aims to merge by 2012 several European air traffic control services into a single structure for greater efficiency, will lead to further job cuts. Protest over the same issue have in the past disrupted flights; several services were either cancelled or delayed on 13-14 January to and from CDG and ORY during a 48-hour strike by air traffic controllers.

Travel Advice

  • Passengers scheduled to fly to or from the country on 23-27 January should contact the relevant airline for information on possible changes to flight schedules, and arrive at the airport early to prevent their seat from being allocated to standby passengers.
  • Personnel should make alternate travel arrangements, where possible, to minimize inconvenience.


Guess who is transiting thru CDG on Jan 26?  This guy!  Guess who will be looking for other flights (I hear Air Malta is nice) tomorrow – this guy!

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