The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has condemned the strike action by air traffic controllers (ATC) in Belgium yesterday and today as a “kick in the teeth“ for airline and airport staff.
Air traffic into the Brussels Airport was significantly disrupted and it comes after the airport had reopened on 3 April after the terrorist attack on 22 March that left around 20 dead and this week had seen international commercial carriers start flights again.
IATA’s director general and chief executive officer, Tony Tyler says: “This action by air traffic controllers is a kick in the teeth for all the airline and airport staff who have worked so hard to reconnect Brussels to the world after the appalling terrorist attack just three weeks ago.
“It is the height of irresponsibility to cut a vital service and doing so without warning can only be seen as malicious. If we cannot count on simple human decency from such highly-compensated professionals then it’s time for governments to find ways to guarantee the availability of air traffic control services.”
The air traffic authority Belgocontrol said today it was limited to 15 aircraft movements an hour until 10am, when it will evaluate the situation, which has caused lights to be cancelled at Brussels Airport.