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August 01, 1978 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-08-01

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, August1, 1978-Page 7

French controller slowdown jams

LONDON (AP) - Hundreds of
thousands of travelers jammed
European airports yesterday as a
slowdown by French air traffic con-
trollers and a flood of American and
Canadian passengers fighting for stan-
dby seats across the Atlantic threw air
travel facilities into chaos.
British authorities said only 16 flights
an hour were being allowed through
French airspace, a fraction of the nor-
mal traffic. France lies in the heart of
Western Europe and some of the most
heavily traveled air routes cross Fren-
ch territory.
"THIS CHAOS is threatening air
transport as a reliable and serious
trade," said Hans Erik Christensen,
station manager at Denmark's Billund
Airport, as flights continued to pile up
after the third straight weekend of
slowdown by the French controllers.
Aage Riis Johansen, president of the
Danish Air Controllers' Association,
defended his French colleagues,
saying, "This is first of all a matter of
safety in the air." He said that in Fran-
ce there are too few air controllers to
handlle the traffic with "rather outdated
The French controllers union meets
tomorrow to decide what future action
to take. They are demanding moder-
nized equipment and more personnel,
which they claim are essential for
passenger safety, as well as an im-
proved pay structure.
THOUSANDS OF Americans and
Canadians swelled queues at airports
and ticket offices in Britain, pitching
camp for waits of up to eight days for
cut-rate standby seats home. With
longer and longer waits, the cut-price
crowd was getting more organized and
less rancorous, since, after all, they had

expected to take their chances and wait
in lines.
But for Britons with a precious week
or 10 days to spend on some sunny
beach it was a different story - and as
if in mockery, Monday's gray skies
sprayed cold rain on England all day.
"It started off as a joke, but the
novelty has long since worn off," said
Sheilagh McLaughlin, 18, reclining on
the terminal floor at Manchester Air-

port in England where she had been
waiting since Saturday morning for a
flight to Majorca.
MORE THAN\ 3,000 would-be
travelers slept there Sunday night, and
when hundreds more arrived yester-
day, one official said: "There are very
few spaces left in, the terminal for
anyone to squeeze into."
At the other end, 70 airplanes were
stacked up at Palma de Majorca air-

port and were departing at one an hour
rather than the customary 500 a day.
Iberia Airlines cancelled 48 flights out
of Spain yesterday, stranding thousan-
ds for a third consecutive day.
"This weekend has been the worst we
have even seen," said a spokesman for
Britain's Civil Aviation Authority,
fearing a "snowball effect" would
make things worse if the French action

AIRLINE PASSENGERS WAIT behind police lines at Paris' Orly Airport yesterday as a slowdown by French air traffic
controllers entered its third week. Passenger flights across western Europe ave been delayed by the strike.

Rhodesians end Mozambique raids

SALISBURY, Rhodesia (AP) -
Rhodesian military forces yesterday
ended two days of cross-border raids in-
to Mozambique against 10 black
nationalist guerrilla bases that had
been "effectively neutralized," the
military command reported.
A brief communique issued after 36
hours of silence said, "A total of 10
terrorist bases have been effectively
neutralized. As a result of these self-
defense operations against these
terrorist bases the intended disruptive
effects have been achieved. Security
forces suffered one minor casualty."
IT DID NOT specifically say infantry
units had crossed the frontier, although
the initial announcement Sunday said
security forces were launching
operations "against selected terrorist
bases in Mozambique."
In Maputo, the capital of Mozam-
bique, a government spokesperson said
"There was no incursion by Rhodesian
ground forces," and the attacks were
carried out by fighter-bombers. He said
12 persons were killed and 110 wounded
in Manica Province and a school there.
was destroyed. No casualty figures
were given for other areas attacked.
The Rhodesian communique made no
mention of guerrilla casualties. This
was in contrast to the last raid
acknowledged by the government in
November 1977, when it said at least
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1,200 guerrillas were killed and vast
quantities of weapons and ammunition
were destroyed.
said Mozambican forces "fought off at-
tacks launched against the provinces of
Manica and Tete by the air force of the
illegal Rhodesia regime."
He said the Manica town of Goldola
was bombed by French-made "Mirage
fighter-bombers supplied to the rebel
regime" by white-ruled South Africa.
Rhodesians watching the warplanes
streak overhead during the raids said
they saw aging Vampire and Hunter jet
fighters but none of the more modern
French-made Mirages.
MILITARY reference books say the
Rhodesian air force includes two
squadrons of Hunters and Vampires,
but make no mention of Mirages.

Observers here said the subdued tone
of the Rhodesian communique might
reflect an awareness of international
opposition to strikes into the neigh-
boring black-ruled countries where the
guerrillas are based. They said the at-
tacks also might not have been as suc-
cessful as planned.
These were the first cross-border
raids since Rhodesian Prime Minister
Ian Smith's white-minority ad-
ministration established a new bi-racial
government with an agreement March
3that set up a ruling executive Council
of Smith and three black moderate
Rhodesia had announced the latest
raids in a terse communique Sunday
and then made no further comment un-
til it reported that the raids were "suc-
cessfully completed."

"THE E~q0, RJ

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