Airport Capacity and Competition Roundtable
Air travel is recovering from its collapse during the global Covid-19 outbreak. The corresponding increase in flights brings capacity constraints back into focus. There are over 200 slot-coordinated airports worldwide, most of which are in Europe. In the European system, independent slot co-ordinators are responsible for assigning airport slots to airlines.
Slot co-ordinators assign available slots twice a year. The most common method is administrative allocation coupled with grandfather rights, allowing airlines to keep slots in perpetuity. Although slots have economic value to airlines that use them, airlines do not pay for these time windows, and they confer no clear property rights.
Apart from administrative slot allocation, approaches to managing scarce capacity can include peak pricing, slot auctions, and computational allocation. A general challenge for comparing policy designs is that there is no universal agreement on prioritising between different slot allocation objectives.
This Roundtable was part of the ITF’s 2022-23 Programme of Work. A report summarising the issues discussed during the Roundtable will be published in 2023.