Friday, December 3, 2010

Controller sickout causes Spain travel chaos

A massive air traffic controller sickout Friday on the eve of a long holiday weekend caused travel chaos throughout Spain, forcing authorities to close eight airports, including the main European hub in Madrid.

The controllers left their posts amid a lengthy dispute over working situation and just hours after the administration of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodrigo Zapatero approved an austerity measure to partially privatize airports, and to hand over management of Madrid and Barcelona airports to the private sector.

Spain's air traffic right, known as Aena, issued an advisory telling all passengers planning to take flights to stay away from airports because "air traffic has been interrupted" and there was no immediate word when the sickout might end.

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