ANAC is talking to the government and other public entities to find a solution, stressing that it is essential to take a decision on the new Lisbon airport.
The head of the Portuguese Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC), Tânia Cardoso Simões, has said in parliament that the constraints that have been experienced at airports, especially in Lisbon, have as their main reason the “lack of human resources”.
In a hearing, at the commission of economy, public works, planning and housing, the head of the entity addressed the “very short-term constraints” that are affecting the functioning of airports, taking into account the earlier than expected increase in air traffic.
“The biggest difficulty for this summer is in fact the lack of human resources and I would like to stress that it is a situation that is absolutely common to the whole of Europe,” she said, stressing that delays start in the centre of Europe and snowball to the peripheral countries.
Tânia Cardoso Simões also stressed that ANAC is talking to the government and other public entities to find a solution, stressing that it is essential to take a decision on the new Lisbon airport.
“Over the next five years we have to live with the capacity we have, with ad hoc solutions to avoid delays,” she said.
The head of ANAC also noted that the entity is also facing a lack of staff. “Right now we have seven recruitment tenders for 13 posts and we have asked to accept a reinforcement of four people, which can still be incorporated into the current budget we have,” she said, indicating that even so these reinforcements “are not enough”.
“People have to multiply. We have a fantastic force, but this is not eternal,” she stressed.
As for issues raised by the lack of aircraft maintenance technicians, she said she had “no knowledge that there are problems at the level of aircraft maintenance of national operators”, stressing that even entities that outsource are obliged to strict safety requirements. “I’m not going to say that we ourselves do not have a shortage of technicians,” she acknowledged, but assured that “the teams put safety first”.