Skeyes strikers still not penalised for air traffic disruptions
Thursday, 06 June 2019
The air traffic controller Skeyes has not had to pay penalties for the air traffic disruption caused by the company.
Legal proceedings are underway, but no fine has gone through, according to the CEO of the company Johan Decuyper on Wednesday. He made this comment along the sidelines of the presentation of Belgium’s air traffic control company’s annual report.
During recent months, Belgian airspace had to be closed temporarily on several occasions because of social tensions within Skeyes. Strikes and a high number of air traffic controllers on sick leave, were amongst the reasons behind significant flight delays, cancellations, or diversions to airports outside of the country.
Liege Airport was particularly affected, due to many service interruptions occurring at night, and the airport’s activity was seriously hindered. Liege Cargo Handling Services (Lachs) and CAL Cargo Air Lines (two companies active in freight), sought and obtained the right to daily penalties in case of new problems. A judge made a similar decision in favour of Brussels Airlines.
It was a unilateral action in both cases as the judge had to make a quick decision, based on only one party’s arguments, Skeyes insisted on Wednesday. However, no penalty has been paid and the periods for payment have already expired, Decuyper said.
Two summary proceedings against the company in charge of air traffic control, however, are still ongoing. It is standard procedure, and the company will defend its case, “for which it is confident”.
The first case concerns Liège Airport, Lachs and CAL. A decision is expected on Friday. The second is scheduled on 18 June in Zaventem: Brussels Airport, Brussels Airlines and Tui Fly against Skeyes.