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Air Malta appeals to pilots over SkyParks

Union dispute over natural ventilation in training rooms

The SkyParks building is Malta’s first Grade ‘A’ office park, Air Malta said yesterday in a reply to a claim by the pilots’ union that their training rooms in the building are bereft of natural ventilation.

The airline said that the union – which registered an industrial dispute because of the new training rooms below ground level – needed “to rise above the canopy” and start “working together” with the airline’s management to address the important airline restructuring challenges that lay ahead.

On Saturday the Airline Pilots Association (Alpa) instructed members not to attend training in these rooms in the absence of a satisfactory air quality report. The union is insisting that the briefing room is inadequate and too small to cater for crews’ briefing needs.

Pilots had to assess flight and weather conditions and take important decisions and sometimes were required to spend up to seven hours daily in these rooms during courses, Alpa said.

Air Malta said the whole SkyParks building had been built in line with high standards, including ventilation requirements that have been strictly adhered to.

The airline said the same training rooms were used by the airline’s board of directors for board meetings lasting five to six hours at a stretch.

SkyParks had obtained a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) certification, which set the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, said Air Malta.

The pilots’ union issued a counter-statement questioning why the documentation it had requested had not been made available to it, “thus avoiding the whole issue”.

While it acknowledged the good BREEAM rating for SkyParks, its renewed its demand for an air quality report on Level O training rooms, which were orginally planned as car parks.

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