September 27, 2020

Air traffic controllers agree fines of 21,000 euros for the chaos of 2010

They will be suspended from employment for five months. Only 14 have not reached an agreement

Today starts in the Criminal Court number 18 of Madrid the last case that remains open against the controllers for him air chaos of december 2010. Although there are 133 accused professionals, 119 of them have agreed with the Prosecutor’s Office of Madrid to assume a fine of 100 euros per day (21,000 euros) for seven months. In the case of union representatives, the agreement stipulates the payment of 150 euros per day (31,500) euros during the same period. Everyone has also accepted a suspension of employment for five months, as explained by collective sources. The 14 controllers who have not reached an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office will, in principle, go to trial, although they still have a deadline until 29 to adhere to the agreement and avoid it. That is the date that they have indicated in the calendar of the process to express their position and opt for the agreement or to plead, as these sources add. In civil liability, the controllers will pay 20 million euros.

After the events of the 2010 Constitution Bridge, which led Aena to close the Central-North airspace for 20 hours, 22 criminal cases were initiated throughout Spain. 21 were archived, although in the Balearic Islands, “without concurrence of new events”, according to the majority union of the sector, Usca; the case was reopened, which ended with a judicial agreement that contemplated compensation for those affected and fines for the imputed controllers.

In its indictment, the prosecution accuses the controllers of a crime of abandonment of public service for paralyzing the aeronautical activity. The situation experienced in those days affected 700,000 passengers and 5,000 flights. The Public Ministry, in its indictment, says that “as a result of collective abandonment” of their jobs, the airspace was closed. The controllers, however, have always defended that they never did. A Galician judge, in fact, concluded that the closure of airspace was a “political” decision instigated by the Government.


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