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ETF rejects European Commission’s unbalanced analysis on SES

The ETF deplores the EC’s unfortunate rhetoric as regards the implementation of SES. The EC only listens to the airlines’ concerns and ignores other involved stakeholders. The EC is attacking the ATM industry and ATM staffs are more and more critical against the EC’s business-driven approach which only favours the cost reduction without considering the negative effects on workers. The ETF calls the EC to understand safety as a top priority in Civil Aviation in favour of financial or business considerations.

The European Transports Workers’ Federation (ETF), representing 14,000 European Air Traffic Controllers and all other categories of staff in Europe, calls the European Commission to choose for a more realistic approach on SES. The current tactic creates a general dissatisfaction about the progress made by the ATM sector.

The ETF disagrees with the EC’s manipulating analysis in which they declare that the full implementation of the SES improves the safety by a factor of ten. Indeed, today the EC cannot measure the exact level of safety; making this assumption is an attempt to mislead the decision makers.

The EC stated that the airspace capacity will triple. However, between 2007 and 2011 the traffic volume decreased by 3.2 % and the mid-term traffic forecast foresees an average annual growth of 1.0 %. Therefore, the ETF does not consider the EC’s statement as reliable.

Without going into the details of all EC comments, the ETF is of the opinion that the EC is continuously presenting the ATM sector as being far too expensive, inefficient and technologically subordinated. This clearly does not correspond with the reality. The ETF is calling all the Aviation Community’s experts to comment on the unilateral approach of the EC.

ETF Political Secretary François Ballestero said “Too many recent communications from the EC are unacceptable for the ATM workers! It is a direct attack against the EU ATM industry and its employees”.

Riccardo Rubini, the ETF Air Traffic Management Committee Chair, continued: “The dissatisfaction on Functional Airspace Blocks is clear. But again, it is a matter of high and unrealistic expectations. The pressure lies on cost reduction, new cooperation/integration models, improvement of the performance in terms of capacity and efficiency. The ETF wants to highlight the strong trade-off between these performance areas. The EC is undervaluing the progress made by the ATM sector in the last decade and the risks of strong social consequences. The performance scheme, where safety plays a marginal role compared to the other economic targets, shows the reality”. Rubiniconcluded: “Acting in this way, the EC is going to lose the support of ATCOs and ATM staff to the SES”.

ETF Press Release - ETF rejects EC's unbalanced analysis on SES