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11. 11. 09. - 11:00

WKO rejects air traffic control fee increase

WKO rejects air traffic control fee increase

By William Green

The civil aviation trade association at the Economy Chamber (WKO) said today (Mon) it had rejected demands for a 13 per cent increase in air traffic control fees next year.

Association chief Gritta Grabner said: "Such an increase would be a massive problem for the Austrian civil aviation industry, which finds itself in a very precarious situation. The industry is in crisis around the world and has suffered larger losses this year than originally expected.

"At such a time, [Austrian air traffic control authority] Austro Control should increase its efficiency and cut costs through internal measures rather than raise fees."

Grabner added the International Air Transport Association (IATA) had predicted a loss of 6.4 billion Euros in the worldwide civil aviation industry in 2009 and said 100,000 jobs in the sector, including 25,000 in Europe, were in danger.

Financially-struggling Austrian Airlines (AUA) called the increase called for by Austro Control "completely unacceptable."

But Austro Control has said it wants the fee hiked to compensate for a reduction in airline traffic caused by the economic crisis.

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