Big fines arrive 10 years later for Madrid air controllers

SPANISH air controllers who caused travel chaos with their 2010 strike have been fined between €15,000 and €31,500 each.

Ten years on, a Madrid criminal court found 131 Madrid-Barajas controllers guilty of “abandoning a public post” just as Spain prepared for December’s two public holidays on December 6 and 8.

Protesting about changes in their working conditions, the air controllers called an unofficial strike resulting in 5,000 cancelled flights that involved 700,000 travellers.

Spain’s then-president Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero solved the problem by declaring a State of Emergency and calling in the military to supervise the control towers and centre.

During the trial, 119 of the accused air controllers came to an agreement with the Fiscal (Public Prosecutor), while two – one of whom was Cesar Cabo, ex-spokesman of the USCA union – were acquitted owing to lack of evidence against them.

Judge Margarita Valcarce also ordered the controllers, together with Airports’ Authority Enaire (formerly Aena), to pay €13.076 million compensation to the affected travellers.

During the trial USCA’s present spokesman Daniel Zamit, declared that the air controllers did not go on strike in December 2010.

Instead he accused Zapatero of wanting to “kick up a fuss” to justify militarising Barajas.

Thank you for taking the time to read this news article “Big fines arrive 10 years later for Madrid air controllers.” For more UK daily news, Spanish daily news and Global news stories, visit the Euro Weekly News home page.

Euro Weekly News is delighted to continue be able to bring you a range of News from around Spain in English and Global News live as it happens.

Euro Weekly News doesn’t cost you anything but your internet connection. Whether it’s bringing you the local Spanish news or the International news today, we’ve got you covered!

Euro Weekly News, the leading free local and national newspaper in Spain, the people’s paper, we lead others follow!

Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at