Aviation News

September 28, 2010

Air Traffic Control Strike Grounds Flights Across Belgium

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By: BNO News
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Hundreds of flights across Belgium were cancelled on Tuesday afternoon after air traffic controllers went on a sudden, wild strike, officials said.

Belgocontrol, the Belgian air navigation service provider, said the strike began just after 2 p.m. local time and was expected to last for 24 hours. Thousands of passengers were left stranded at airports across Belgium by the sudden, unexplained strike.

Belgocontrol and several unions met at 10 a.m. local time on Tuesday morning in an attempt to avoid the strike, but failed. Belgacontrol said it was unclear what prompted the strike.

“No immediate solution could be found in the absence of a formal list of demands,” the organization said. “This action will result in a closure of Belgian civil airspace, including airports in Belgium, and will therefore have a negative impact on flights.”

Passengers are advised to contact their airline before traveling to any airport in Belgium.

About a dozen flights were still flying in Belgian airspace as of 3.15 p.m. local time, but none of them were expected to land in Belgium. Belgocontrol has said it will still handle flights that have to make an emergency landing.