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France

Air traffic back to normal after strike ends at Paris airports

Video by Philip CROWTHER

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-07-22

Air traffic in and out of France returned to normal on Thursday after traffic controllers ended a 24-hour strike that heavily disrupted flights in major French airports even as travellers prepared to leave for the summer break.

Traffic was normal on Thursday morning at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports following a 24-hour strike by air traffic controllers that sparked travel chaos in major French airports as many were leaving for their summer holidays.

France’s civil aviation authority asked airlines to scrap 20 percent of flights Wednesday at Charles de Gaulle airport and 50 percent at the smaller Orly airport.

Short and medium-haul flights were the most affected, while long-haul flights remained scheduled to run normally.

Single European Sky

France’s controllers were on strike over a plan to unify European airspace. France is set to join Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg to create a regional authority, the Functional Airspace Block Europe Central (FABEC).

The Single European Sky concept is meant to ensure greater efficiency and deal with a projected increase in traffic by allowing planes to fly more direct routes across the continent.

But French air traffic controllers are worried about the social consequences of the plan, including the "dismantlement" of France's national air traffic control.

French Junior Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau called the strike “inappropriate”. Meanwhile, Ecology Minister Jean-Louis Borloo defended the plan for European airspace. “For security, CO2 [emissions], and reducing the use of fuel, it is necessary for the European airspace to evolve”, he said.

 

Date created : 2010-07-22

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