Lebanese air traffic controllers address staff shortage with new 7 AM - 8 PM shift

Lebanon News
2023-08-24 | 05:37
High views
Share
LBCI
Share
LBCI
Whatsapp
facebook
Twitter
Messenger
telegram
telegram
print
Lebanese air traffic controllers address staff shortage with new 7 AM - 8 PM shift
Whatsapp
facebook
Twitter
Messenger
telegram
telegram
print
3min
Lebanese air traffic controllers address staff shortage with new 7 AM - 8 PM shift

In a recent statement issued by Lebanese air traffic controllers under the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, concerns were raised about the department's severe staff shortage. 

The statement highlighted that the current situation has led to operational challenges and poses potential risks to aviation safety. The air traffic controllers, numbered 13, including department heads, sections, and branches, work within two separate centers.

The statement provided a breakdown of the staff distribution, indicating that there are:

Six air traffic controllers for regional surveillance, responsible for radar operations out of 52 controllers. They are assisted by two retired contract controllers.
Seven air traffic controllers for airport tower operations out of a total of 35 controllers. They are supported by one retired contract controller.

"We work in tandem to ensure 24/7 airport operations throughout the year. Despite our continuous struggles over the years, we refrained from publicizing our challenges due to the potential impact such details could have on public perception and air traffic operations. This includes airlines, aircraft insurance companies, and the International Civil Aviation Organization," the controllers clarified.

Contrary to reports from specific suspect sources that falsely accused air traffic controllers from the 1990s of negligence and mismanagement, the controllers emphasized their continuous efforts to seek recruitment and training. 

They explained that their organizational structure dates back to a canceled directorate, established by Decree No. 7251 on January 21, 2002, to create the General Authority of Civil Aviation. This entity has yet to materialize. 

Any solutions proposed require the approval of the Cabinet for implementation. However, most solutions have been met with sectarian, political, or unexplained obstacles.

The statement revealed, "Our most recent effort was the recruitment of assistant air traffic controllers from the 2018 batch, which did not materialize. This step was crucial for a long-term solution to the shortage crisis since assistant controllers need over three years of intensive training in an institute accredited by the International Civil Aviation Organization to become certified controllers."

To address the shortage, the air traffic controllers proposed temporarily recruiting certified foreign controllers who could quickly adapt to Lebanese airspace navigation plans. They stressed the need for equity regarding working hours and compensation between foreign recruits and local controllers. 

Given the persisting challenges, the air traffic controllers decided to transition to a modified schedule starting September 5, 2023. During this time, they will manage operations at Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. 

The flight schedules will accommodate the operational capacity of the air traffic controllers, considering their current numbers and aiming to ensure safe aviation operations until necessary reforms are implemented in the aviation sector to reinstate 24-hour airport operations securely.
 

Lebanon News

Lebanese

Air Traffic

Controllers

Beirut

Airport

International Civil Aviation Organization

LBCI Next
Formalizing Civil Defense volunteers: PM Mikati acknowledges national efforts
Controversy erupts: Jnoud el Rabb's attack on Mar Mikhael club sparks outrage
LBCI Previous
Download now the LBCI mobile app
To see the latest news, the latest daily programs in Lebanon and the world
Google Play
App Store
We use
cookies
We use cookies to make
your experience on this
website better.
Accept
Learn More