Copenhagen Airport Photo: Thue C. Leibrandt (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Naviair and Air Traffic Controllers’ Union Reach Agreement to Address Staff Shortage and Normalize Operations

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Naviair and the air traffic controllers’ union, DATCA, have reached an agreement aimed at supporting the normalization of air traffic operations in Danish airports and airspace.

With the agreement in place, Naviair can now stabilize its operations and focus on retaining and training more air traffic controllers.

The purpose of the agreement between Naviair and DATCA is to address the acute shortage of air traffic controllers resulting from a significant reduction in their numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic and insufficient recruitment throughout the 2010s.

Regarding the agreement, Mads Kvist Eriksen, Acting CEO of Naviair, states:

-I am pleased that we have collectively found some good solutions that will enable us to normalize our operations for the benefit of airlines, airports, and passengers. With this agreement, we expect to see a significant reduction in delays caused by Naviair.

Esben Blum, Chairman of DATCA, says:

-The air traffic controllers want to help Naviair get out of the unsustainable situation it has found itself in, and that’s why we have reached this agreement. It is not a long-term solution as we would have preferred, but we believe it is important to create stability and try to find long-term solutions for Naviair’s future. We still see a risk that this agreement may not adequately ensure retention, but only time will tell. The air traffic controllers are now extending an extra helping hand to Naviair by providing extraordinary flexibility for a certain period so that Naviair can focus on achieving long-term balance.

Thorsten Elkjær, Director of Traffic at Naviair, states:

-I would like to thank our air traffic controllers for going the extra mile until we establish a more robust Naviair. It is necessary for us to meet the increasing traffic levels and deliver high-quality air traffic control services. Therefore, as the management, we will continue to recruit and train new air traffic controllers to ensure sufficient resources to support the traffic in the future.

The agreement comes after a long-standing conflict between DATCA and Naviair, resulting in several months of flight delays and cancellations.

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