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            september 19, 2019

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Airport group slams Europe's slot allocation system


AIRPORT Council International (ACI) Europe has slammed the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) interpretation of a study commissioned by the airport group on current slot regulations.
IATA said in a press release that a study commissioned by ACI Europe showed that "the rules for allocating scarce capacity at Europe's congested airports are fostering competition and growing connectivity."
However, ACI Europe criticised IATA's take on the report by consultancy ICF.
"The ICF study is totally silent on airport slot allocation rules. Its focus is on the dynamics of air fares and points to the absence of direct relationship between the level of airport charges and air fares," the airport group said, reported London's Air Cargo News.
ACI Europe then went on to say that current slot rules are out of date.
ACI Europe director general Olivier Jankovec said: "Addressing the airport capacity crunch requires a holistic approach whereby both industry and regulators leverage all possible avenues to ensure the most efficient use of airport capacity as well as the planning, financing and delivery of additional airport capacity.
"The former requires a reconsideration of the EU regulation on airport slots, which is based on IATA's World Slot Scheduling Guidelines (WSSG).
"These guidelines were adopted decades ago, at a time when the structure and dynamics of the aviation market were very different.
"Lack of airport capacity in Europe was not the challenge it is today and aviation policy followed an airline-centric approach rather than a consumer and connectivity centric one. Indeed, these guidelines are de facto rules made by incumbent airlines for incumbent airlines."
It continued: "The slot allocation rules essentially define the parameters by which airport facilities are being used by airlines. Yet, airports have had no say in the formulation and neither in the way these rules are applied. No other industry is faced with such a paradox. Now is the time to address that."

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