Air Controller Strike Threatens Africa Travel

Air Controller Strike Threatens Africa Travel (News Central TV)

Some air traffic control staff at airports in West and Central Africa went on strike over working conditions and pay on Friday as their union defied court rulings and government bans barring them from doing so.

Aviation safety agency ASECNA announced Friday that some staff of French-speaking West Africa and Madagascar embarking on strike could disrupt operations in the region.

ASECNA said two of its six flight information regions could be impacted by the strike despite court decisions and government bans on the strike in Togo, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo and Senegal.

“ASECNA is under the threat of a strike decided by the Union of Trade Unions of Air Controllers, a clandestine organization which is not recognised by any of the member states of the agency,” it said in the statement.

The 18-member states organisation manages air traffic control in an area covering 16.1 million square kilometres of airspace.

“The Niamey flight information region is expected to be impacted,” ASECNA said, urging travellers to check updated flight information and so-called Notice-to-Airmen (NOTAM) it will publish on its website.

It stated that a Niger Republic court decision on the legality of the strike was expected.

The airspace controlled by the Brazzaville, Congo flight information region was also at risk due to the planned strike. It gave no further details on the risks, but added that a Congo government decision was also expected.

On Thursday, Ivory Coast and Senegal suspended the call to strike by air traffic controllers. But Paul Francois Gomis, a leader of the striking Senegalese air traffic controllers said that they are maintaining their decision to go on strike from 0800 GMT on Friday.

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