Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport has just 19 certified air traffic controllers. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir, File)
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The next time you fly into or out of Beirut, take a moment to think about the air traffic controllers monitoring the skies and runways to make sure you're safe.Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport has just 19 certified air traffic controllers, Hammoud said. Along with six or seven retiree holdovers and 19 uncertified assistants, they make sure some 350 flights take off and land safely and efficiently every day.Cabinet came through on that count, with Prime Minister Saad Hariri signing decrees to hire 25 new trainees and promote 17 current controllers, Hammoud said.Hammoud argues that the government is misconstruing an article specific to air traffic controllers in the 2017 salary scale law, essentially slashing their raise by half.Nevertheless, Beirut is safe to fly to, Hammoud said.
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