Air passengers throughout Western Europe faced five days of airport chaos because of a work-to-rule by French Air Traffic controllers starting on Friday (11 August).
GV EXTERIOR: Orly airport, Paris, France.
GV: control tower
GV: crowds milling in airport terminal carrying luggage and wheeling trollies (4 shots)
GV: people sitting and standing around airport lounges. (4 shots)
SV AND GV: people sleeping in airport lounge.
GV: airport standing on tarmac.
In London, extra staff and accommodation were being organised for the expected. Some British airports even laid on entertainment....comedians, musical groups and so on for the stranded passengers.
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Background: Air passengers throughout Western Europe faced five days of airport chaos because of a work-to-rule by French Air Traffic controllers starting on Friday (11 August). A similar work-to-rule two weeks ago forced tens of thousands of passengers to camp out at European airports as departure delays grew longer and longer.
SYNOPSIS: Orly in Paris is at the centre of the anticipated chaos. The controllers want more pay and better equipment.
Airport sources said delays at Orly were expected to average about an hour by the end of the first day of the action. In France thousands of people are setting off for a four-day Assumption Holiday week-end, one of the France's busiest periods of the summer. Two weeks ago, when the 2,500 controllers worked to rule over a peak holiday week-end, passengers spent hours, sometimes days camping in airport lounges.
Conditions this week-end are not expected to deteriorate to the same extent, because total traffic through Paris is down since the end of July. The French Transport Minister has urged airlines to cut out as many flights as possible, to case airport congestion.
Part of the work-to-rule involves controllers strictly enforcing the legal five-minute interval between aircraft.
For some of the long wait had already begun. Passengers were advised to bring plenty of reading matter and to sleep when they can. Orly Airport is staying open at nights to handle the backlog of flights.