No aircraft will be able to take of or land in Belgium on Friday night

The company responsible for air traffic control in Belgium Skeyes has warned that a shortage of air traffic controllers will mean that no planes will be able to take off or land between 1:30am and 4:30am on Saturday morning. Once again a large number of air traffic controllers have reported sick, meaning that there won’t be enough staff to cover the early hours of Saturday morning.     

Although no planes will be able to take off or land planes flying over Belgium won’t be affected. As only aircraft due to take off or land between 1:30am and 4:30am will be impacted no passengers flights will be affected. However, there will be disruption to air freight services.      

In March there was regular disruption as due to action by air traffic controllers at Skeyes. The unions say that there aren’t enough air traffic controllers and as a result those working for Skeyes are forced to regularly do overtime and face an unacceptable level of pressure of work.   

An arbitrator has been appointed to try and resolve the dispute. The talks are ongoing. The issues on Friday night are reported not to be linked to any action on the part of the trade unions, but rather have been caused by air traffic controllers refusing to stand in for sick colleagues.   

According to figures from Brussels Airport there was 8.1% less air freight tonnage at Zaventem in March compared with March 2018. The company says that this is due to the industrial action by air traffic controllers at Skeyes.