The Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority fully and categorically rejects the false and baseless statements circulated by the Kenyan Air Traffic Controllers Association in their circular of 30 August 2018 regarding the safety of Ethiopian airspace following the illegal strike of Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) in Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority would like to assure the wider public as well as airlines, national civil aviation authorities and international and regional bodies that following the illegal strike by ATCs in Ethiopia, the Area Control Center (ACC) in Addis Ababa is being manned by adequate number of well trained, highly capable instructors and professionals who are current for the positions with the necessary ratings and validation in accordance with ICAO Annex 1 provisions. Similarly, the approach and aerodrome positions are also manned with professionals possessing all the qualifications. The controllers that have come in for support or assistance following the illegal strike were all assigned with the necessary orientation and on the job trainings before they were released solo, per the standard practice.
With regard to the specific false statements and outright lies contained in the circular of the Kenyan Air Traffic Controllers Association, these can be easily verified as all ATC activities and communications are recorded and protected.
To date, the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority has not received any complaint by any airline operating to/from Ethiopia or overflying the Ethiopian airspace. All airlines are operating their scheduled and unscheduled flights smoothly, including our national carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, which has the largest operations in Africa.
The Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority will also like to inform the public that it is working in close collaboration with its good neighbor and partner, the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority, on cross border flight coordination.
The wider public, national civil aviation authorities, international and regional bodies and airlines should not be misled by the false statements of the Kenya Air Traffic Controllers Association, whose aim is to lend support to an illegal strike in Ethiopia. It is completely unacceptable and constitutes a clear lack of basic ethics and professionalism for the Kenyan Air Traffic Controllers to express solidarity with ATCs in Ethiopia that are illegally on strike by making false and misleading statements about the safety of Ethiopian airspace management.
The Kenya Air Traffic Controllers Association has acted in an irresponsible way and has caused damage to the reputation of the Ethiopian Civil Authority. If the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority does not take the necessary action on the Association per its own national laws, the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority will take the issue to the concerned international body.
Lastly, the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority wishes to seize this occasion to inform the public that some of Air Traffic Controllers, who were on strike, have already returned to their normal duties.