Deliberate ‎heavy air traffic snarls Cairo airport

Ahram Online, Thursday 6 Oct 2011

Arrivals, departures at Cairo International Airport face long delays due to heavy air traffic

Terminals at Cairo International Airport were exceptionally crowded on Thursday due to‎ ‎air-traffic congestion.‎ Several planes reportedly took off much later than scheduled as a ‎result of a protest by the air-traffic controllers. ‎

MENA reported that a go-slow protest by air traffic controllers at Cairo airport grounded ‎four fifths of flights from the major regional hub and left as many as 3,000 travellers ‎stranded, airport staff said on Thursday.‎

According to one airport official, no takeoffs or landings were authorised before ‎‎9:35am on Thursday morning.‎ The first plane to receive clearance for takeoff headed to ‎the Omani capital of Muscat.‎

MENA said the protest had ended at midnight on Wednesday but four hours after it ‎began.‎

Local media said the go-slow was called after a pay increase for Cairo's 700 air traffic ‎controllers was cancelled when other staff protested at the pay rise.‎

Some angry passengers broke into a tax authority office at the airport overnight to put ‎pressure on officials to force an end to the protest, witnesses said.

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