AN estimated 85 percent of air traffic controllers have signed a letter of intent ensuring the provision of air traffic control services and are willing to return to the negotiating table to arrive at an agreement.

The letters will have no bearing on the Government maintaining the state of alarm, said the secretary of the Air Traffic Controllers association (USCA), Cesar Cabo, but are an example of the “willingness” of the controllers to negotiate, by guaranteeing their services on a personal level.

However, the Union of Air Traffic Controllers association made it clear that these negotiations cannot be restarted until the state of alarm is lifted.
USCA President, Camilo Cela, said that the union has asked its members to work together to solve the conflict. The letter of intent signed by the controllers, showing they are dedicated to negotiating and ensuring a continuity of the service, is being signed in an entirely personal capacity, Cela said.

Spokespersons for the union, Daniel Zamit and Cesar Cabo, pointed out that before December 3, USCA had put forward a proposal to AENA, the Spanish airports authority, which did not involve salary increases and which “even” accepted the proposals put forward by the Ministry of Public Works in February and signed in August's pre-agreement.

Zamit added that if the Spanish airports authority were willing, an agreement could be reached “within ten days” because the controllers just want to see the situation go back to normal “as soon as possible”. But talks are now unlikely to resume until after January 15.

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