Ben Gurion passengers 22.
(photo credit: Channel 10 [file])
Ben-Gurion Airport management officials met with airline representatives Thursday in order to minimize lengthy delays in arrivals and departures caused by employees protesting insufficient manpower by working slowly, Army Radio reported.
Ben-Gurion Airport Workers Union Chairman Pini Idan said that the lack of manpower was nothing new. "The delays didn't start today. There have been long delays for over a year caused by lack of manpower, it just depends on the flight load of the specific day, and today the load is bigger than usual. We just don't have enough manpower."
On Wednesday, the Civil Aviation Authority announced its intention to strike starting next week, following a disagreement with the Transportation Ministry. The workers claimed a tender for 12 new positions in the authority would lead to massive layoffs. The authority's strike would cause numerous charter flights in and out of Israel to be cancelled.
Last week, a new seasonal record was broken in Ben-Gurion when over 151,000 people departed and landed on 300 flights.
The interim report of the Lapidot Committee examining the state of Civil Aviation in Israel confirmed - and even surpassed - fears that flying in and out of Israel's crowded airports was becoming increasingly hazardous. The report emphasized that unless 'an upheaval' occurs in all aspects of civil aviation, the situation will only deteriorate further.
'We are in the midst of a very serious situation that demands immediate action,' said Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz at the release of the report.
'I am beginning to see signs of collapse in a number of key areas,' he added, listing civil aviation as one of those fields.
Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report