Belgium ATC Staff Strike Closes Two Airports

29 September 2010 (Last Updated September 29th, 2010 18:30)

An air traffic control strike in Belgium grounded take-offs and landings at the country's two international airports this week, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. The Brussels International Airport cancelled over 100 flights, while the Brussels South Charleroi Airport redirected s

An air traffic control strike in Belgium grounded take-offs and landings at the country's two international airports this week, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded.

The Brussels International Airport cancelled over 100 flights, while the Brussels South Charleroi Airport redirected some flights to Lille in France.

The Belga news agency also reported that Belgium's smaller airports cancelled all departures in Liege and Ostende, while planes were still taking off from Antwerp, albeit with delays linked to the industrial action.

The spontaneous strike announced by controllers to pilots was triggered by long-running disenchantment with management, according to Businessweek.

Belgocontrol, Belgium's national air security organisation, said the strike began at 2:00pm (1200 GMT) and ended at 10:00pm on the 28 September, following a meeting with the company's management, and the controllers.

Flights above 7,500m were not affected because they are controlled in Maastricht, Netherlands, by Eurocontrol.