Passengers at El Prat Airport affected by industrial action at the control centre in 2010.


The threatened strike by air-traffic controllers at the Barcelona Control Centre has been called off for now. The first stoppage had been scheduled for 20 June. Negotiations earlier this week with the national government-owned Enaire company, which is responsible for air navigation, are said to have led to a closing of the gap between the controllers' representatives and the company, but as significant for the decision to call off the strike has been the change of government.

The controllers are now going to give the ministry of development, which is responsible for Enaire, at least a two-week extension to any threatened action in the hope that there can be a definitive and positive agreement. Discussions will be on hold as they will have to involve the new secretary of state for infrastructure.

Raúl Tobaruela, the spokesperson for personnel at the control centre, says that they are looking forward to a "significant gesture" being made by the new government. But he adds that if there is no concrete and specific offer that will ensure controllers have adequate time off, the strike could still happen. Were it to, the first stoppage would be some time in July.

The industrial action is not about pay but about understaffing. The demand is for ninety new controllers to be taken on and added to the existing 289, who are overstretched and are concerned about the potential safety risks because of overwork and lack of rest. The action would only affect the control centre and not control towers, but the control centre is crucial because it supervises the whole of the Mediterranean east coast of Spain and the Balearics.


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Richard / Hace over 3 years

Also the red markers do Not have the Balls and or a cogent Argument to Comment back.


Richard / Hace over 3 years

Stuart, they are at it Again. Steve, good Points. To the red Markers, IDIOTS!


Steve Riches / Hace over 3 years

Never gamble on safety: moral reasons apart, a serious accident is not only a tragedy for people who are killed and injured, and their families, it will have been a very poor financial decision as well. If the controllers say they are understaffed, tired, and unhappy, then someone with the power to change it needs to change the situation, and quickly. The cost of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in London was way above the cost of putting on proper cladding in the first place. I watch a lot of aviation programmes and read aviation news, and I can assure you that "money saving" never is: you can gamble on cheaper alternatives, but it should NEVER involve gambling with people's lives is criminal.


Stuart mead / Hace over 3 years

Richard. I’ve been red carded too. Proves that most tourists are pretty ignorant. Only care about what happens to them. I hope they don’t find out the hard way.


Richard / Hace over 3 years

To those who red marked me down, let’s just hope you are not involved in an accident related to poor ATC. Those who don’t understand ATC should just bloody shut up. All of us in aviation are increasingly nauseated by idiot tourists who just don’t get it.


Frank Smith / Hace over 3 years

S,why do you always use racial abuse and derogatory abuse whenever you comment on the French,it is possible to post comments without using racist or derogatory abuse. Why does this paper allow S to use such racist and derogatory abuse,do you not monitor comments.?


Richard / Hace over 3 years

Stuart, me too. AENA and related organisations are poorly operated. I am being polite (!)


Stuart Mead / Hace over 3 years

Richard. Up until just over two years ago I worked at Heathrow airport. They have gone down the cheapest bid technique and all their service apparently is now crap. I honestly hope they haven’t done this with the Air Traffic Controllers. But time will tell.


Richard / Hace over 3 years

Correct. They are handling 800+ movements a day and there is a huge shortage of staff. And a lot of newbies. Take it from me, I am in the industry. Accident waiting to happen, lots of go-arounds, which are standard procedure but not ideal. With the French it’s usually about pay.


S. / Hace over 3 years

I totally agree the safety reasons for their disputes. But I will never support the Frogs with their lightening strikes, several times during the Season. They ( The Frogs ), do not have any credible reasons for their disgraceful actions.