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Australian Aviation

Aviation Firefighters To Strike Amid Safety Concerns At Australian Airports

Australia’s aviation industry faces turbulence as aviation firefighters prepare to walk off the job amidst alarming revelations regarding insufficient firefighting resources.

According to leaked documents revealed by the United Firefighters Union of Australia (UFUA), airports in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Adelaide were identified as being at extreme risk in a fire or aircraft incident. 

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Additionally, Sydney, Canberra, and Hobart airports were classified as “high risk.”

Despite these findings, the UFUA has been engaged in tense negotiations with Airservices Australia over an enterprise agreement. 

The union has raised multiple issues, including claims of flights landing without fire crews and violating aviation laws.

In response to the safety concerns, UFUA has announced a four-hour strike scheduled for 6 am on April 15.

The Australian Airports Association chief executive, James Goodwin, has urged two parties to “come to an agreement”.

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“I would hope any industrial action won’t disrupt the travelling public at a time when the aviation and tourism sectors are rebuilding,” he said.

“Safety remains the priority, and airports are ready to implement any contingency plans that might be necessary.”

An Airservices Australia spokesperson said the union had not yet officially notified it of the planned strike. 

The spokesperson said the union’s announcement follows notification of an indefinite ban on overtime starting April 5.

“Over five months of negotiations, Airservices has offered its Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) service crews an 11.2% pay rise over three years, a range of enhanced conditions and no reduction in current conditions, however the UFUAV is demanding a 20 per cent pay rise as part of a range of claims that in total would cost the aviation industry and their passengers an additional $128m.”

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