WINDSOR LOCKS, CT (WFSB) — The new 12 months is bringing adjustments to Bradley International Airport, as a battle is brewing between firefighters and the Connecticut Airport Authority.
On Thursday, 2020 gave one closing scare for Bradley Airport as a personal aircraft landed with no touchdown gear.
Thankfully, everybody was secure, as firefighters and different emergency responders have been referred to as to the scene.
On Friday, the firefighter’s union made grievances over staffing known.
The Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut says the Airport Authority reduce 25 p.c of positions, forcing them to work longer hours.
All of this placing the flying public in “peril,” they are saying.
“It’s just not fair to the firefighters because management has gotten raises over the past how many years now and we can’t even hire firefighters or paramedics. It’s not safe and not right,” stated Chris Albani, union vp.
However, Executive Director of the Connecticut Airport Authority Kevin Dillon says that’s not true.
In an interview with Eyewitness News, Dillon stated the 25 p.c reduce is definitely a hiring freeze, not layoffs.
In reality, he says the fireplace division is working with simply six fewer firefighters than they did in 2015, even when the airport visitors has slowed by 75 p.c.
“What we’re trying to do is adjust the operations to what the new conditions are in terms of the substantial reduction in activity which results in a substantial reduction in revenue,” Dillon stated.
When it involves longer hours, Dillon says it’s simply a further two hours every week, saying “of which they’re being compensated extra for.”
“The airport is not hurting for money like they say they are because they made record revenues since probably 2015,” Albani stated.
While the union and the Airport Authority kind out their points, the query stays are passengers actually in peril?
Dillon says Bradley is roofed greater than most airports, because of the Air Guard.
“We are one of the few airports in the country that actually have two fire departments. We not only have the Airport Authority fire department that we run, but the Air Guard also has a fire department that responds to all of the same aircraft emergencies, medical calls, that our fire department responds to,” he stated.
The union says the Air Guard can solely achieve this a lot.
“They don’t have medical control for the state, so it’s actually illegal for them to respond to medical calls at Bradley Airport,” Albani stated.
Dillon says managers haven’t taken raises this 12 months and he hopes that after issues get again to regular, the hiring freeze could be lifted, however he initiatives “normal” might return in 2023.