Toward Comprehensive Slot Rule Reform in the EU

European Union (EU) member states rely upon a slot system in order to manage the scarce capacity at its airports. In the slot concept, airlines are apportioned a temporal point of access to a specific airport's gates and runways for the purposes of either landing or taking off. A code of conduct was promulgated in 1993 which, among other things, set the terms for how member states were to distribute slots, and under what conditions an airline forfeited a slot into a pool for redistribution. Under the so-called "use or lose" rule, a carrier must use an apportioned slot at least 80% of the time during a given commercial season in order to retain it for the following season. This article examines the problem of slot allocation in the EU and legislative efforts to address the issue. It reviews the recent temporary suspension of the "use or lose" component of the slot rules and examines how this move could lead to meaningful and efficient slot reform. The author suggests that an auction system might have merit as an acceptable alternative approach to the issue of airport capacity.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01147888
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 7 2010 9:25PM