May 17, 2022

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Several hundred delayed flights at Chopin Airport in two days.  Here's What Happens When Air Traffic Controllers Quit Their Job

Several hundred delayed flights at Chopin Airport in two days. Here’s What Happens When Air Traffic Controllers Quit Their Job

On Monday, April 11, another round of talks took place between the air traffic controllers and the new management of the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency.. They sat at the table with strong arguments in their hands: over the weekend, the consequences could have been seen if the air traffic controllers had not come to work. The next talks will be held on Tuesday, April 12th.

As long as negotiations between the management of the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency and the Board of Directors of the Union of Air Traffic Controllers are underway, we do not comment on this situation. PANSA is currently facing the challenge of increasing the number of air traffic controller absences due to, inter alia: PANSA spokesperson Agata Król, in response to money.pl questions, said sick leave, and thus air traffic delays, take measures to ensure inspection personnel And the situation stabilized in the following days.

It adds “Weekend problems with review staff do not apply to transit”, that is, air traffic passing over Polandwithout taking off and landing in our country.

Every third flight at Chopin Airport has been delayed due to lack of inspectors

The longest delay at Chopin Airport on Saturday was 145 minutes (it was the Smartwings flight to Alicante). On Sunday, the longest delay was 175 minutes – the Wizz Air flight to London Stansted.

We asked the Polish Airports Company for your comment.

Delays persist, in large part due to a staffing shortage of air traffic controllers. Currently, arrival delays are minimal, and departure time is around 30 minutes on average. The development of the situation depends solely on the resolution of the crisis by PANSA and the restoration of the appropriate staffing of the air traffic control tower – says Ms. Anna Dermont, director of the Office of Marketing and Public Relations at PPL, spokesperson for Chopin Airport.

He confirms that Chopin Airport is not closed and is operating normally. Due to the lack of air traffic controllers, on April 10, air operations were suspended only from 2.00 to 5.30, when it was called an essential night, that is, a ban on planned take-offs and landings between 23.30-5.30. This limitation was introduced for environmental reasons on March 25, 2018.

At Chopin Airport, one of the two runways is also being renovated from April 9 to 29. – Renovation of the runway does not cause any delay and was planned in advance. In previous years, even in pre-pandemic times, the regeneration did not affect the timing of the operations performed – assures Anna Dermont.

Disagreement with air traffic controllers

– people who were in a deadlock (obliged to immediately, if necessary, take an operational position) did not answer the calls of the employer. As a result, there were air traffic delays and caused losses to other entities in the aviation industry – explained PANSA spokeswoman Agata Król in response to questions from money.pl.

At the end of January, the then PANSA administration submitted a notification to the Public Prosecutor’s Office about the possibility of a crime Regarding ZZ KRL’s incitement to carry out acts of sabotage by Area and Approach Controllers in Warsaw.

By the end of April, about 170 of the 208 air traffic controllers in Warsaw are scheduled to leave the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency. This is a result of their rejection of the Amended Notifications, which introduce new regulations on pay and work regulation at PANSA. The capital’s inspectors are responsible for take-offs and landings at Chopin Airport and at Modlin near Warsaw, but they also control the airspace over the entire territory of Poland (the so-called zone).

The rest of the article is available under the video

See also: This is how an air traffic controller works

It’s not just a dispute within PANSA

The situation in the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency is not considered an internal conflict between trade unions and management. Its consequences are really felt by the airlines.

According to the information we received, In the worst case scenario, it’s only 20-30 percent. Current airport capacity (Chopin) It will be possible to serve if the previously announced number of PANSA controllers resign – said Andrey Kobyelsky, Vice President of Commercial Airlines at Enter Air, in an interview with wnp.pl.

This is not the end of the problems

The situation is so serious that the warning was issued on Friday by the Civil Aviation Authority, which is responsible for overseeing the aviation market in Poland.

(…]In the coming days, there may be air traffic irregularities over Poland, including flight delays and cancellations. We advise passengers to prepare for possible delays and cancellations Flights and continuous inquiries with air carriers about the status of a particular flight – this was announced in the Civil Aviation Authority announcement.