Paris air traffic controllers post strike notice for next week

A similar strike last month saw 70% of flights from Paris Orly impacted

Multiple strikes have affected Orly airport in recent weeks
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Air traffic controllers at Paris Orly airport have filed a strike notice for next week, which may see flights between June 11 – June 13 impacted.

The Unsa-Icna union, the second largest for air traffic controllers in the country, filed the strike motion today (June 5), over disagreements on new regulations for workers. 

It is not yet known how many flights will be affected, but a similar strike last month (May 25 and 26) saw around 70% of flights to and from Orly – France’s second-busiest airport – cancelled.

At the time of writing, the proposed strike action is centralised on Orly, and no other airports look set to be affected. 

However, the action may affect flights that traverse French airspace.

Those planning to fly from Paris Orly on the affected days next week should regularly check for updates from their airline.

Read more: French MPs move to stop last-minute air traffic controller strikes

Why are so many strikes affecting Orly? 

Air traffic controllers and France’s Civil Aviation Authority (Direction générale de l’aviation civile, or DGAC) have been at loggerheads for months regarding new regulations for the profession. 

The regulations mainly include an expansion in the responsibilities of air traffic controllers, who in returned asked for a pay increase and for a recruitment drive to entice more people to work in the sector.

Negotiations have been ongoing for nearly a year and a half, but a total breakdown in communications led to calls for a massive strike in April.

Action was called off at the last minute but the call for action still caused chaos, with cancelled flights unable to be rescheduled at short notice. 

The SNCTA, the largest union for controllers, representing around 60% of workers, subsequently agreed to revised proposals and cancelled further strike action. 

Read more: French air traffic controllers take too much time off and risk safety

The next two largest unions, Unsa-Icna and a sub-section of the CGT – that represent 17% and 16% of workers respectively – did not agree to the revisions, however, and have continued to strike over the changes. 

The Unsa-Icna union have been calling single-day strikes of intense action, whereas the CGT has been filing week-long strike notices.

The SNCTA has in turn denounced these strikes, citing the ‘disruption’ they have caused travellers, particularly to and from Paris.

Workers at Orly in particular are up in arms over changes to the Parisian airport landscape. 

“Orly is clearly relegated to second place by the DGAC compared to the other Parisian airport [Roissy-Charles de Gaulle], despite the fact that it has a similar strategic importance,” one unnamed source from Unsa-Inca told the French Associated Press.