Air Traffic Controllers Strike In France Over New EU Rules

Air Traffic Controllers Strike In France, Travelers Stranded [Video]

As air traffic controllers in France go on strike Wednesday, thousands of flights are cancelled and many travelers are left in the cold. The strikes comes in protest of European Union airspace rule changes.

The strikes began Tuesday, cancelling almost 2,000 planned flights across Europe, including about half of Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport’s typical 600 flights daily.

Wednesday the European Transport Workers’ Federation stated that 11 other European nations had workers participating in protest action.

The air traffic controller strikes come as a protest to new airspace rules adopted by the European Commission Tuesday called “Single European Sky” or SES2+.

Opponents of SES2+ say the new rules will threaten jobs and have inherent safety issues. The European Commission argues that the EU needs to adopt these new rules in order to deal with expected future increases in air traffic loads.

The new airspace rules alter the way flights are coordinated making routes more direct. It has been said that this could help lower costs for travelers and airlines and reduce trip duration and delays.

The European Commission also suggested that more direct routes will mean less fuel usage and a more environmental operation.

Officials say they expect service to resume to normal levels Thursday when the air traffic controller strike is expected to end.

Below is video showing some of the stranded travelers trying to deal with the massive delays brought on by the flight cancellations in the wake of the increasing air traffic controller strike out of France:

[Image via ShutterStock]