THE IRISH AVIATION Authority has said it is planning to introduce changes to its night time air traffic control operation at Cork Airport, reducing the number of controllers on duty.
There will now be just one controller working from midnight to 6am at the airport, instead of two, under the changes.
“The IAA is forced to take this action because of current economic conditions,” it said in a statement. “The number of commercial flights at Cork Airport in 2012 was 21,784 – down 40 per cent on the peak year of 2007″.
In 2011, the Commission for Aviation Regulation imposed a 40 per cent cut in revenue per flight for 2012 to 2015 and the IAA said it is currently losing more than €1 million a year on its operation at Cork.
It said this, added to reduced flight numbers and reduced charges, makes the provision of controllers at current service levels “unsustainable”.
Despite the staffing reduction, the IAA said it will “still be in a position to offer an effective 24 hour air traffic control service due to arrangements and flexibility that are being put in place”.
The proposed arrangements will have no impact on existing scheduled traffic, passenger or cargo, the IAA stressed, and will take effect from 1 January 2014.