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Sick workers delay flights across Sweden

Sick workers delay flights across Sweden

Published: 23 Nov 2010 12:01 GMT+01:00
Updated: 23 Nov 2010 12:01 GMT+01:00

"The air traffic control centre directs the planes when they leave the airport and are up in the air. When we reach a critical point, we must limit the number of aircraft for safety reasons. It usually happens when we are short four to five people," said Per Fröberg, press officer at the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration (Luftfartsverket, LFV).

The reason for the staff shortage is the lack of cover for sick staff, according to Fröberg.

SAS has cancelled eight departures on Tuesday and has warned that more may be in store. The airline warned that more flights could be cancelled unless the situation improves during the day.

All flights, including domestic, foreign and overflight traffic, will be hit by delays until at least 3pm.

"There are four morning departures to Umeå, Malmö, Luleå and Gothenburg. They have been cancelled in both directions. We are doing our best now to book all customers onto later flights," said Anders Lindström, press spokesman for the airline.

Travellers are advised to go to the airport or visit airline websites for more information.

Air traffic at Arlanda has encountered several delays since last month due to a shortage of staff at the air control center in Stockholm, according to Peter Lennartsson, president of the Swedish Union of Civil Servants' (Statstjänstemannaförbundet - ST) flight management arm.

"We have had a large shortage of staff for several years. They have worked on recruiting, but have never successfully had a full team. At the end of the year, there will be a shortage of 10 to 12 people," he said.

The supply of controllers is less than the demand, added Lennartsson. More controllers are currently being trained, but it will take some time before they can start working.

"Our job is flight safety and when there are too few people, we have to cut down on the number of flights," said Lennartsson.

TT/The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:41 November 23, 2010 by Pacey
Lols Sweden is heading to be a third world country. next we will hear them saying there would be no metro or tram service since they dont have enough drivers!!

Why dont they import some. Seems to me there might be loads of unemployed controllers out there or probably I can do a good job it just needs some learning and trial and error.
14:42 November 23, 2010 by Iraniboy
This 'Shortage of staff' is meothing you hear alot in Sweden. It is not acceptable especially for places wher tehy earn money!! If airplane operate in your airport you earn money so you should hire mroe people to control them. So simple!
18:03 November 23, 2010 by insect
@pacey

In third world countries (at least the one i come from) there are so many people lining up for your job that you cant even afford to miss work when you are sick. You can be replaced very fast if you dont show written proof that you actually went to hospital.
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