Part 3: Listening comprehension

Part 3: Listening comprehension

Listen to the following radio report about a French air traffic controllers’ strike, then answer these questions:

  1. How many flights have been cancelled in total?
  2. How many passengers have been affected?
  3. Which airline has been most affected?
  4. How many of its flights have been cancelled?
  5. How many British Airways flights have been cancelled?
  6. What British Airways destinations have been affected?
  7. How many Easyjet flights have been affected?
  8. If your flight is cancelled, what must the airline do for you?
  9. In which other country are air traffic controllers on strike?
  10. Why is taking the train not a solution for passengers wishing to travel from the UK to France?


French Air Traffic Controllers’ Strike

What happens when you arrive at the airport and discover that your flight has been cancelled or severely delayed because of the French air traffic controllers? We are seeing hundreds of flights being cancelled today, with tens of thousands of passengers affected. Now the worst hit airline, as far as I can measure, is Ryanair which has cancelled upwards of 100 flights. British Airways, here at terminal 5 at Heathrow, has cancelled 40 flights, mostly to and from France but also to Spain, Switzerland and Italy. And Easyjet has got dozens of cancellations as well.

If you are in the position of having your flight cancelled, then your rights are quite straightforward. The airline has to provide you with meals and, if necessary, accommodation until it can get you to your destination, which might actually be on another airline, if they can’t get your there within a couple of days.

In terms of future action, well, I’m afraid, it’s very difficult to say. This is a strike that is not aimed specifically at changes to Air Traffic Control, which is what they normally are about, but it’s more a fight for human rights, say the unions. It’s all about defending the public sector in France against the changes which President Macron wants to introduce. So, I’m afraid there could be more disruption this summer and don’t get me started on the Italian Air Traffic Controllers! Oh, and if you’re thinking, “I’m going to France. I’ll go on the train – that’ll be easier!” No it won’t. Not on Wednesday and Thursday, because the rail workers are on strike again.

Radiotelephony exercise

Listen to this RT exchange and then answer these questions:

  1. What is the aircraft’s registration?
  2. What services does the pilot request on land?
  3. Where is the aircraft due to land?
  4. What happened on the aircraft?
  5. Give details of the person who has been injured.

PILOT: De Gaulle approach from G-DOSH

ATC: G-DOSH go ahead

PILOT: Just to inform you that we have a few problem passengers on board and we will require assistance on arrival at Le Bourget, G-DOSH

ATC: G-SH roger, what kind of assistance do you need?

PILOT: I would like police and first aid, there was an altercation between passengers and cabin crew, G-SH

ATC: G-SH, I have informed Le Bourget of the situation and they will organise assistance

PILOT: Be advised that some passengers have been drinking, one has been restrained and a flight attendant has a face injury, G-SH

ATC: G-SH roger