Tuesday, May 31, 2011

EU on Slots

A new European Commission study on slot allocations at European Union airports has found that an additional 28 million passengers per year could use EU airports if slots were distributed more efficiently.  See EU Commission: Airports Must Improve Airline Slots, BBC News, May 31, 2011 (available here).  The report calls on EU airports to rely on secondary trading of slots in order to help ensure that they are acquired by airlines which place the highest value on the slots.  In other words, air carriers should be free to sell and/or swap slots among one another without interference or penalties from regulators.

Blog readers interested in learning more about EU slot guidelines and suggestions for improvement may want to download Gabriel S. Sanchez's article, Toward Comprehensive Slot Rule Reform in the EU, 9 Issues in Aviation L. & Pol'y 88 (2009) (available from SSRN here).

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/aviation/2011/05/eu-on-slots.html

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Comments

I read this report with a lot of interest.
However, I am really surprised that the alternative of slot leasing and subleasing was not addressed and even mentioned as a way to deal with slot issues at major airports.
I could see an opportunity to fundamentally change the way airport organizations works by replacing airports/landing charges by slot leasing contracts. Because you pay for the right to land (and therefore to take off) at an airport and therefore be allocated a corresponding slot, I don't see why these system could be replaced by a lease contract of slot (which give you the right to land, take off, have parking space and gate). Thus the lease could vary according to congestion issues and peak periods according to market dynamics. It would also provide more flexibility to airports and airlines (especially if they are allowed to sub-lease excess slots).

Posted by: Sylvain GLOUX | Jun 1, 2011 5:15:08 AM

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