ACI Europe calls for 'vital and overdue' overhaul of EU Airport Slot Regulation

14 January, 2020

ACI Europe published (14-Jan-2020) a proposition paper outlining its recommendations to the European Commission for a "vital and overdue" overhaul of the EU Airport Slot Regulation. ACI Europe DG Oliver Jankovec argued the current EU slot regime is based on a close to 30 year old aviation market, making it "anachronistic" and limiting the ability of airports to pursue more sustainable operations, develop air connectivity for local communities and promote airline competition for the benefit of consumers. ACI recommendations include:

  • Greater consideration to be given to airports' and their regions' strategic objectives in the slot allocation process;
  • Increased transparency over slot allocation decisions, in particular, the application of secondary allocation criteria;
  • Broadening of the scope of the 'New Entrant Rule', while removing the possibility of abuse by airline groups to guarantee more effective airline competition at airports;
  • The right for EU member states to allow secondary trading of slots should they consider it in the interests of competition and capacity optimisation, with appropriate safeguards and conditions;
  • Special provisions for allocation of slots at extremely congested airports, in the interests of competition, capacity optimisation and the maximisation of economic and social benefits;
  • Strengthening of the system of historic rights by better balancing the minimum series length, providing a clear definition of force majeure and maintaining a minimum usage requirement;
  • The introduction of a slot reservation system to incentivise airlines to hand back unused slots for reallocation in a timely manner to avoid a waste of airport capacity and suboptimal air connectivity. [more - original PR]