Europe Hit By Snow…

SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALLS between November 29 and December 2 disrupted flights across Western Europe, especially those operating from UK airports.
While the east of Britain suffered the worst disruption, the entire country was hit to some extent and almost every UK airport suffered some cancellations.  Although at the time of writing, snow and freezing temperatures continue to affect UK operations, among the worst hit airports in the country during this bad weather spell were Bournemouth, Doncaster, Durham Tees Valley, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow and Southampton airports.  Some UK airports were closed in terms of days rather than hours.
Heavy snow also closed most of Switzerland’s airports – with the exception of Zurich – on the night of December 1.  Lyon-Bron in France was also snow-closed that night and severe delays were reported at Berlin-Tegel and airports in Northern Spain.
…And A Strike
AS MOST airports were recovering from the effects of the winter weather Spanish air traffic controllers left their posts in an unannounced protest on December 3.  Spanish airspace was closed for around 48 hours delaying an estimated figure of around 650,000 travellers.  The weekend was one of the county’s busiest with many Spaniards taking advantage of the fact that Monday and Wednesday were public holidays.  In a television appearance Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Mr Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said that the strikers’ actions had damaged Spain’s image.  He added that the responsibility would have to fall somewhere and that measures would be put in place to make sure that such strikes could not happen again.  Spanish military controllers were called in to help ease the situation before the protestors returned to work.
The industrial action was the result of government plans to privatise Aena, Spain’s state airports authority.  The Spanish Government recently announced plans to sell off 49% per cent of Aena, but USCA, the air traffic controllers union, claims the government plans to sell its stake too cheaply.