Regional airports are completely understaffed
The Panhellenic Association of Telecommunications Service Civil Protection Service issued a statement speaking, among other things, about the under-utilization of many regional airports.
The reason for this was the fact that the airport of Naxos was put out of operation on Sunday as the only employee providing Flight Information Services fell ill.
However, this is not the first time this has happened as, according to workers, other regional airports have been closed for the same reason.
Yesterday (30-1-2022) at 20:26 local time Naxos airport was closed due to the illness of the only employee providing Flight Information Services (AFIS). Last summer, the airports of Ikaria, Milos and Kozani were closed for the same reason and recently Kythera.
In 12 of the 15 border airports providing the Flight Information Service, there is only one employee serving passenger, hospital and military flights 24 hours a day, without days off and without leave. 7 of the 12 airports have no permanent staff and are covered by travel throughout the year, leaving understaffing gaps at the remaining airports.
Privatisation implies a loss of workers
The understaffing of the industry is a product of the hiring freeze, the transfer of 57 AFIS employees to the Electronics Branch (to serve guild interests with the acquiescence of the previous and current Administration) and the retirement of employees.
It is also due to the preparations for the completion of the privatisation of the CAA, which implies a reduction in the number of employees, but at the expense of the needs of passengers and the inhabitants of the outlying islands in general.
“Since there is no plan by the CAA Administration and the Ministry of Infrastructure & Transport regarding transfers-employments in the Flight Information sector with the prospect of immediate implementation, we estimate that the phenomenon of airport closures will be frequent and is expected to intensify during the summer months due to the increase in the number of flights and the extension of working hours,” says the Panhellenic Association of Telecommunications of the Civil Aviation Service,” the statement concludes.