TOKYO -- A labour union representing air traffic controllers in Japan has called for a "significant increase" in staff to improve the safety of operations at airports in the wake of a deadly crash at Tokyo's Haneda airport last month. "We strongly urge the realisation of a significant increase in the number of air traffic controllers," Masato Yamazaki said in the statement, adding that speculation about the cause of the crash risked putting mental strains on controllers. He said repeated staffing requests to the government, which directly employs air traffic controllers in Japan, have been only partially approved in recent years despite increased workload on controllers. Other countries including the United States and France are grappling with air traffic control staff shortages that airlines have argued pose risks to aviation safety. In 2019, each air traffic control operator in Japan handled nearly 7000 flights, up from around 4,600 in 2004, according to the ministry's records.
Mar 21 2023