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Vážny: Audit found no serious air-traffic safety violations

A SAFETY audit carried out at the state-owned Letové Prevádzkové Služby (LPS), which operates Slovakia's air-traffic control service, has not found any serious violations of regulations, said Transport, Posts and Telecommunications Minister Ľubomír Vážny at a press conference in Bratislava on May 21.

The minister said that therefore he sees no reason for LPS director Roman Bíro to be dismissed, as striking LPS employees demanded in February. The audit, carried out by the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation, was aimed at discovering any possible safety risks in the way Slovakia's air-traffic control is managed.

The strike, which took place between February 22 and 27, ended only after the transport ministry promised safety improvements. Nonetheless, the air-traffic controllers stayed on strike alert.

The Air Traffic Controllers Association (ATCA) claimed on May 21 that a safety audit carried out at the LPS found as many as nine serious violations of air-traffic control regulations caused by the LPS management.

Pavol Bugár, former spokesman of the air-traffic controllers' strike committee, said that ATCA will have to examine the results of the audit before making a full statement. At the same time, ATCA president Ľuboš Laurenčík expressed doubts that the Transport Ministry will keep the promises that ended the air-traffic controllers' strike in February.

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