CANSO, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, in a special session of its Executive Committee today, unconditionally condemned the recent closure of Spanish airspace caused by the abrupt illegal action of Spanish air traffic controllers. CANSO fully supports the actions that Aena, the Spanish Air Navigation Service Provider, took to restore service safely.
The stranding of almost a million travelers worldwide as a result of this industrial action led to unacceptable economic and personal disruption. The effects of this action will be felt by the Spanish and European economies for months to come.
This was a direct attack on the professional reputation of the air traffic industry and public trust in it.
Notwithstanding any grievances controllers might have, perceived or otherwise, the closure of international airspace as a negotiating tool should no longer be permitted anywhere.
Aviation is a critical public service. Holding the public and air commerce to ransom is intolerable. CANSO calls for immediate actions to prevent any recurrence.
Regulatory measures are required, at the European level, to ensure the continuity of air traffic services throughout Europe during industrial disputes. If this issue is not addressed, it puts at risk the entire Single European Sky initiative.
CANSO expresses its firm support for Aena in the current difficult situation. It calls on the European Union to immediately consider how critical public services of this nature can be protected from illegal industrial action by European regulation.