French MPs try to stop air traffic control strike with quietly passed bill

An air traffic controllers’ strike set to take place 19th to 21st November may be thwarted by last-minute legislation that states air staff now need to give advanced warning to minimise disruptions.

Industrial action by French air traffic controllers is expected to cause travel chaos at several French airports, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. The proposed strike is set to run from 6pm on the 19th of November until 6am on the 21st, but there are question marks as to whether it will actually take place.

An under-the-radar bill passed on 15th November by the National Assembly may stop these kinds of actions in their tracks, now and in future, by establishing an obligation for striking air traffic controllers to declare themselves individually at least 48 hours before the start of any movement.

“The prior declaration will make it possible to organise the minimum service and thus avoid cancellations of flights without reason and at the last minute,” explains Senator Vincent Capo-Canellas.” The reduction in traffic will be proportionate to the number of strikers, which guarantees social dialogue based on the mobilisation, or not, of employees.”

The letter of the new law makes it possible to put to rest “an asymmetrical system” and replace it with “protective and balanced” acts that don’t undermine public services.

In response, some unions, including the CGT and Force Ouvrière, filed strike notices after learning of the vote.


The bill passed overwhelmingly by 85 votes to 30. The left opposed the bill saying it threatened the right to strike, but even some unions see the sense in such a law.

A press release published on 14th November by the Syndicat National des Contrôleurs du Trafic Aérien (SNCTA), the biggest air traffic controller’s union in the country, declared itself in favour of the bill, saying that they opposed the “instrumentalisation of the right to strike and its unreasonable use” in certain instances.

The text calls for “adapted minimum service”, meaning it must fulfil obligations to maintain a certain standard of service to minimise disruption whilst still be allowed to protest in “proportionate measures.”

The government says they are willing to review the terms of the minimum service system, which has applied to air traffic controllers since 1985.


If the strike happens, the affected airports will be Paris Orly and Toulouse Blagnac, which will see a 25% reduction in flights, and Bordeaux Merignac and Marseille Provence, which will see flights cut by one-fifth.

Cancellations and delays, as well as diversions to other airports are possible, and could extend beyond the strike’s end.

As per usual, it is recommended that passengers contact their airline for more information before setting out.

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Photo by Monaco Life



Davide Livermore to direct Don Carlo, one of Verdi’s darkest operas, this November

Written as a way to reinsert himself back into the 19th century Paris opera scene after a few ‘bad’ experiences, Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlo highlights the all-too-human struggles between love and duty, and faith and power.  

First performed in March 1867 at the Salle Le Peletier in Paris, this opera in four acts is nothing short of a masterpiece.  

Based on the life of the tragic and mentally unstable 16th century prince Carlo, Prince of Asturias, Don Carlo is Verdi’s longest opera, and is filled with themes of intrigue and regret.  

Three performances of the Italian version of Don Carlo by the Opéra de Monte-Carlo are scheduled in Monaco for the end of this month. They will be directed by the revered Davide Livermore, with music from the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra as conducted by Massimo Zanetti. Don Carlo will be played by tenor Sergey Skorokhodov, who is replacing Vittorio Grigolo, Phillip II by Ildar Abdrazokov, and Elisabeth of Valois by Joyce el-Khoury. 


The story centres around Carlo, the eldest son of the Spanish King Phillip II. The young prince was betrothed to French King Henri II’s daughter, Elisabeth of Valois, but politics interfered in the match. In the end, the beautiful princess ended up marrying Carlo’s father, leaving both young people heartbroken.  

With everyone under the watchful eye of the Grand Inquisitor, tension and paranoia run rampant, leading the king to suspect his wife of infidelity with Carlo, egged on by the jealous Eboli, who loves Carlo and sets the new queen up as an adulteress.  

Carlo, for his part, wants to run from his feelings and takes up the cause of a close friend in Flanders, but his father has other ideas. Conflict ensues, threats are brandished and Carlo’s life is on the line.  

Eboli, in a fit of regret when she hears of Carlo’s impending death, confesses to Elisabeth it was she who fanned the embers of rumour. She is banished, but still tries to save Carlo, with success. His happiness is short lived, however, as more tragedy soon strikes and takes away his only reason to live.   


The Opéra de Monte-Carlo will be performing this incredible story on 22nd and 24th November at 8pm, and at 3pm on 26th November. All performances will take place at the Grimaldi Forum.  

For tickets and more information, click here.


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Photo of one of the incredible sets by Gioforma and Dwok.

This article was originally published on 8th November and edited and republished on 17th November.