Air traffic

Air traffic controllers protest delays flights in Warsaw

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish air transport authorities are warning travelers of possible flight delays and cancellations at Warsaw airport due to a protest and the resignation of some flight controllers.

The protest is a reaction to changes made in January to the functioning of the flight regulator, the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency, as well as allegations that it was not properly ensuring the safety of space air. Controllers also criticized the new salary system, although it allows more experienced workers to earn up to 45,000 zlotys ($10,500) per month.

Of the 216 flight controllers at Warsaw Chopin Airport, 44 quit last month and some 130 threatened to quit in April. A new head of the regulatory body was appointed on March 31 and negotiations are continuing.

On Saturday, a number of arrivals and departures were delayed by an average of 30 minutes at the airport. An airport spokeswoman, Anna Dermont, said the situation was the result of a staff shortage at the control tower.

The Polish Civil Aviation Authority has issued a warning that flights may be delayed or canceled in the coming days.

State audit body NIK found irregularities in the work of the air navigation regulator, saying there were internal tensions, while controllers complained of overwork.

In mid-March, the airspace over eastern Poland was reserved only for military training and defense purposes, due to the February 24 Russian invasion of the eastern neighbor from Poland, Ukraine.