Air cargo traffic disrupted between Wednesday night and Thursday morning
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    Air cargo traffic disrupted between Wednesday night and Thursday morning

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Air cargo traffic to and from Liège Airport will be disrupted on the night of Wednesday to Thursday due to strike action by air traffic controllers at Skeyes, the spokesman of the autonomous public company, Dominique Dehaene, said on Wednesday afternoon. Air traffic has been curtailed by strike action since Tuesday. Flights were cancelled on Tuesday night and, up to Wednesday afternoon, some controllers on stand-by were still demonstrating their dissatisfaction with management by folding their arms, which could cause problems if operational teams are incomplete. Dehaene said it was certain that there would not be enough staff to perform all services from the CANAC control centre at Steenokkerzeel.  

    Controllers at CANAC manage and ensure the safety of airplanes flying over and approaching the airport up to an altitude of 7,500 metres. The Belgian and Luxembourg airspace monitored from this centre is divided into portions and, because of the shortage of staff, one of these, Sector East, will simply be closed from 1:30 a.m. to 4:00 a.m on Thursday, Dehaene said. As a result, no planes will be authorised to land at Liège, the main airport affected.

    Workers and management at Skeyes have been locked in negotiations on a series of demands: the Christian federation, Confédération des syndicats chrétiens de Belgique (CSC-ACV), listed 23 demands, some of them longstanding, in its strike notice, which covers actions up to 23 March.

    On Tuesday night even more workers had been off the job in response to a call by CSC-AVC and the public service union, Syndicat libre de la function publique (SLFP)

    Management has invited the unions to a meeting to be held on Thursday at 2:00 p.m.

    Jason Bennett
    The Brussels Times