A statement from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport said that there were three teams doing shift work at the control tower, because of long-term staff shortages. Other employees who have been in contact with the staff member who tested positive, have been quarantined.
The statement went on to say: “We have taken such a decision with the permission of the Ministry of Health, as it is not possible to transfer the Ercan Recommended Airspace to a centre other than “Ercan Tower” or to reinforce [staff numbers] immediately with the recruitment of personnel.
“Sixteen air traffic controller candidates were sent to Ankara for basic training in order to compensate for the personnel shortage to some extent. However, due to the decrease in the number of personnel at the Air Traffic Control Centre in recent years, even if all 16 air traffic controller candidates have passed the basic training, 16 more personnel are needed in order for the Centre to provide full capacity and trouble-free service. We will continue to work to fill this important gap”.
The aviation industry worldwide has been hit hard by the Covid 19 epidemic, because of a combination of factors, staff sickness leading to staff shortages and transfers to other control towers and briefly, having to close control towers for disinfection.