Airport Slots

In 2015, ACI created an Expert Group on Slots (EGS). The EGS proposes worldwide policy on slots, acting with the ACI regions. It also meets with IATA and other relevant organizations and provides support for member enquiries.

The EGS has written a Position Paper to guide ACI’s advocacy on this topic and the EGS’s own further work; it was published in December 2015 after approval by the ACI World Governing Board.
The Position Paper on Airport Slots main recommendations are:
  1. ACI and airport operators seek appropriate involvement in the development of the IATA Worldwide Slot Guidelines (WSG) and their implementation.
  2. ACI calls for additional consideration of the interests of airport operators, their passengers and the communities they serve when aiming for the most efficient use of airport infrastructure.
  3. ACI calls for the definition of slots to be amended to include an explicit obligation on the part of airlines to use the slots allocated to them.
  4. ACI supports the development of alternative capacity allocation methods for airports where demand exceeds supply.
Download the complete Position Paper on Airport Slots.

ACI believes that the process of development of the WSG has not kept up with changes in the structure of the industry. For example, Airport operators must provide the funding for capacity expansion, and so should have an influence on the way in which that capacity is used, in order to provide a sufficient financial return to justify investment.

Some 300 airports worldwide are directly affected by the coordination principles in the WSG. Around 120 of these 300 are classified as “Facilitated” (Level 2 status), where there is voluntary schedule coordination: airlines are informed by the airport facilitator if congestion is expected during the time of their intended flight operations, with the object of reaching voluntary agreement to adapt peak demand to the available capacity.

The remaining affected airports are Slot Coordinated (Level 3), where it is mandatory to have a slot allocated by the airport coordinator for each arrival or departure. This status has a significant impact on all involved. Airlines are only allowed to operate when they have been allocated a corresponding slot. The number of slots which can be allocated is determined by the coordination parameters (the capacity declaration) before the season starts, and must not be exceeded by the airport coordinator.

For more information contact:

Nicholas Ratledge
Manager, Airport Safety and Operations