Wednesday 30 November 2022

Mass disruption threatened at all Australian airports next week

Aviation fire rescue workers across Australia are prepared to stop work next week, which could cause "significant disruption" for air travellers.

The United Firefighters Union of Australia (UFUA) announced the strike will occur for four hours between 6am and 10am on Friday the 9th of December at all 27 airports due to industrial action over understaffing.

UFU aviation branch secretary Wes Garrett said the understaffing of firefighters was dangerous and they had no choice but to undertake the "stop work action".

"Every day the lives of 2,500 air travellers across Australia are being put at risk because they don't have the protection they need from understaffed aviation firefighters," Garrett said.
"Air travellers don't have the protection they need because Airservices cut 100 aviation firefighters from Australia's airports to cut costs in October 2021.

"Now, every month over 600 flights are operating from Australia's airports without the aviation firefighting protection they require under international aviation safety regulation."

He claimed it had been constantly occurring since October 2021.
Garrett acknowledged the strike would cause a significant disruption.
"We understand that this will be extremely disruptive for Australia's air travellers and aviation firefighters sincerely apologies for the inconvenience."
Retired aviation fire commander Trevor Rodgers said a shortage of aviation firefighters at an incident could have catastrophic consequences for passengers on a burning aircraft.
"Aviation firefighters have just three minutes to reach a burning aircraft and make an intervention to save the passengers," Rodgers said.
"After that three-minute period of time, the fire penetrates the cabin and the chances of people surviving a major crash internal fire is greatly reduced."

The federal government is yet to respond to the union's strike announcement.

Story sourced from here (excluding photos)

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