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How Do Aiport Slots Work?  
User currently offlineAvion346 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 184 posts, RR: 1
Posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6461 times:

I tried a search but found nothing on how exactly airport slots work. What are the specifics at airports like LGA, DCA, NRT, etc.? I'm looking for information as to what exactly a right to a "slot" entails. A rotation anytime? Specific days? Specific times? Specific destinations?

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCMHSRQ From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 989 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6430 times:

It is essentially a reservation for a spot on a runway at a specific time on a specific day. Each airport has it's own valid times and regulations in regards to those runway slots.


The voice of moderation
User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6419 times:

A "slot" is officially defined by IATA as a "permission to schedule an aircraft movement at a specific date and time".

Slots at most Level 3 (full co-ordinated) airports around the world are assigned at the twice-annual IATA scheduling conferences, in November for the following year’s summer period (April – October) and in June for the winter period (November – March).

Slots are assigned using a procedure that grants first priority to carriers operating the same schedules they did the previous year (“historicals”), followed by carriers rescheduling the same flights they did the previous year to a different time of day (“retimed historicals”). The remaining slots are placed into a pool and no less than 50% of this pool must be allocated to carriers who possess fewer than four daily slots at the airport (“new entrants”). The remainder may be allocated for additional services among airlines already operating at the airport. A carrier forfeits its right to “historicals” if it fails to operate a minimum 80% of its scheduled services for the allocated slot. Slots and historicals are considered separately for Summer and Winter seasons.

For more information, visit the IATA Scheduling Services website at http://www.iata.org/sked/


User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1944 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6419 times:

What happens when you miss it? How is it reallocated?

Coal



Nxt Flts: SQ HKG-SIN | VF SIN-DPS | SQ DPS-SIN-SYD
User currently offlineAvion346 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 184 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6368 times:

So the market planning department has to coordinate an aircraft schedule that is exactly tailored to slot arrangements (when appropriate)? Wow that seems like a really difficult task......especially with bank operations.

User currently offlineABpositive From Australia, joined Nov 2005, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6301 times:

So when a plane is running late and "misses its slot", are there penalties involved (assuming it was airlines fault and not a weather related issue)?

User currently offlineBomber996 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 390 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6267 times:

How do slots work for private jets? I ask because I was at work here in Laconia, NH and a Lear-25 needed a slot into LGA because they were too noisy for TEB. They ended up leaving about 2 hours after they were ready to wait for this slot at LGA. How does it work for the little guys? Say I wanted to go into LGA with my little 172, what would I do to get in?

Peace  box 



AVIATION - A Vacation In Any Town, I Own Nothing
User currently offlineTransWorldSTL From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 568 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6243 times:

Quoting Bomber996 (Reply 6):
Say I wanted to go into LGA with my little 172, what would I do to get in?

You would have to deal with a pissed off ATC. Bringing small planes into busy airspace/airports is a waste of space (unless they're bringing a donor organ, or something else important) and time. Thats what General Aviation airports are built for..


User currently offlineWorldjet777 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 6193 times:

What if one ran a chartered DC-10 from some US airport into NRT? How does that work?
wj777



Now Your Flying Smart
User currently offlineLawnDart From United States of America, joined May 2005, 968 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 6193 times:

Quoting Avion346 (Thread starter):
What are the specifics at airports like LGA, DCA, NRT, etc.? I'm looking for information as to what exactly a right to a "slot" entails.

Slots at LGA and DCA differ slightly. At LGA, a slot is essentially permission to either land or take-off, and is designated as such. The are also available in 30 minute increments (0900-0929, 0930-0959). They are also segregated by size of aircraft (regional, large commercial).

Slots at DCA are good for an hour, 0900-0959, and are not designated as take-off or landing, but can be used for either.

Most slots were grand-fathered in to the carriers that operated at these airports when slots were first instituted, which has caused new-entrant carriers to piss and moan about barriers to entry (they're correct, in a sense).

Or, you can be some wiz-kid starting up a new carrier, and promise state politicians that you will provide low-fare service to upstate New York, and those same politicians shower you with slots you don't deserve at an airport that really doesn't have the capacity...

To alleviate "hoarding", so to speak, by the established carriers, the government requires slots to be used a minimum of 80% of the time on a (bi-?)monthly basis.

There are a number of ways carriers get around this. First, if a carrier has five slots during any given time period, they can still maintain 80% usage by scheduling four flights during that time (assuming the have a 100% completion factor). This is one way an established carrier can, in fact, hoard slots...

Another way is: say I am an air carrier and I have 2 slots during a given time period, in otherwords 120 slot days, but I have only one daily flight. That's 50% usage. However, established carriers trade slots amongst themselves. So, I call USAirways, for instance, because they have 6 slots and 6 daily flights during a given time period. They agree to take enough of my slots to guarantee I make my 80% usage requirement, and I reciprocate if they need help.

That's the other way established carriers can, in fact, hoard slots.

Quoting Bomber996 (Reply 6):
How do slots work for private jets?

One-off slots for business aircraft are available on a daily, first-come, first-served basis (unless you're a Congressman... Wink ). There is a phone number to call the day before...it's an automated system. If the slot is not available, you are offered the next closest time. Then, you arrive "late"!

Quoting ABpositive (Reply 5):
So when a plane is running late and "misses its slot", are there penalties involved (assuming it was airlines fault and not a weather related issue)?

Slots are based on scheduled departure or arrival, not actual. Check out how many flights are "scheduled" to arrive at, say, 16:59. All the other flights for this given city pair take 2:30, but this flight, miraculously, only takes 2:15!!! It's because a 17:00 slot wasn't available, but the airline needs to get the aircraft there...they will take the hit in DOT on-time rankings, but they don't care.

Quoting Avion346 (Reply 4):
So the market planning department has to coordinate an aircraft schedule that is exactly tailored to slot arrangements (when appropriate)? Wow that seems like a really difficult task......especially with bank operations.

It is difficult, but as I pointed out before, airlines trade slots to each other for purposes of getting the 80% usage met. They also trade slots to each other for marketing needs. AA needs to get a flight out of DCA at 17:00 to make their connecting bank at DFW, but they only have an 18:00 slot. US needs to get their flight out at 18:00 to make their connecting bank at CLT, but they only have a 17:00 slot. Viola! They agree that AA will give their 1800 DCA slot to US for US's 1700 slot. Problem solved.

Now, multiply that by literally hundreds of transactions between all the carriers operating in and out of DCA, LGA and JFK, and you see where it is difficult. Sometimes it doesn't happen, and that's when you get that one flight that can fly ORD-LGA in 2:15 minutes when all the other flights take 2:30.

Don't ask me how I know this, but an airline once traded a slot to another airline, that traded it to another airline, that traded it to another airline, that traded it to another airline, that then traded it back to the original owner. That's how convoluted the process can get.

Sorry to drone on, but although this isn't the most exciting aspect of commercial aviation, I hope it provides you with a little insight into the industry we all love so much.


User currently offlineDalb777 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2192 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6075 times:

Quoting LawnDart (Reply 9):
Quoting Bomber996 (Reply 6):
How do slots work for private jets?

One-off slots for business aircraft are available on a daily, first-come, first-served basis (unless you're a Congressman... Wink ). There is a phone number to call the day before...it's an automated system. If the slot is not available, you are offered the next closest time. Then, you arrive "late"!

So does this apply for charter aircraft also, such as DL and AA (etc...) planes?



Geaux Tigers! Geaux Hornets! Geaux Saints! WHO DAT!!!
User currently offlineBrenintw From Taiwan, joined Jul 2006, 1569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6056 times:

Quoting Dalb777 (Reply 10):
So does this apply for charter aircraft also, such as DL and AA (etc...) planes?

I asked the same question of a friend who is knowledgable about such things -- the answer I got is that (at TPE at least) there is a certain number of daily slots reserved for charter flights that are allocated first-come, first-serve, but not necessarily "the day before".

Bren



I'm tired of the A vs. B sniping. Neither make planes that shed wings randomly!
User currently offlineCentrair From Japan, joined Jan 2005, 3598 posts, RR: 21
Reply 12, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6039 times:

Quoting Worldjet777 (Reply 8):
What if one ran a chartered DC-10 from some US airport into NRT? How does that work?

I believe most charter flights to Tokyo are flown into HND.



Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
User currently offlineAvion346 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 184 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5895 times:

Thanks for all the information.....a lot of questions are cleared-up

User currently offlineCornish From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 8187 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5857 times:

Quoting B747-437B (Reply 2):

This basically covers what generally happens, although do bear in mind that there are variations to this.

At some airports certain slots can be "ring-fenced" to ensure essential air services. This tends to be the case in countries where they have a high number of Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes where there is a social and economic need to ensure air service to remote parts of a country that might otherwise be lost through open slot-trading.

Additionally when it comes to allocating new slots, the slot coordinator will almost always give priority to a scheduled service operating seven days a week, particularly to a new destination, then other scheduled services, regular charter and lastly freight.

The whole issue of slot-trading is becoming a big issue in Europe with a big study being undertaken for the European Commision on the likely effects of secondary slot trading. This already happens in the UK for example, but not in some other countries. However in constrained airports, where the slot values are high, the big question/arguement is really over who owns the slots (and therefore can take the cash on offer from a buyer) - the airlines, the airports or the slot coordinators ?



Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
User currently offlineSP90 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 388 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5839 times:

So what happens when a big shot like the POTUS comes into town? Do the slots get all screwed up? Airlines pay a fine for missing their slot if its their fault. Is it a 2 way street, do they get reimbursed for AF1 coming and messing things up?

User currently offlineDnl65 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 79 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5689 times:

Just remember that in the US there are only four true slot controlled airports out of a total of over 500 commercial service airports. Establishment of any more is unlikely because they essentially screw up the system

User currently offlineDalb777 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2192 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5611 times:

Quoting Dnl65 (Reply 16):
Just remember that in the US there are only four true slot controlled airports out of a total of over 500 commercial service airports. Establishment of any more is unlikely because they essentially screw up the system

Do you know what four airports these are?



Geaux Tigers! Geaux Hornets! Geaux Saints! WHO DAT!!!
User currently offlineBomber996 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 390 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5574 times:

Quoting Dalb777 (Reply 17):
Do you know what four airports these are?

I would assume, LGA, DCA, JFK, and ORD. Dont quote me on it.

Peace  box 



AVIATION - A Vacation In Any Town, I Own Nothing
User currently offlineDalb777 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2192 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5565 times:

Quoting Bomber996 (Reply 18):
I would assume, LGA, DCA, JFK, and ORD. Dont quote me on it.

What about ATL?



Geaux Tigers! Geaux Hornets! Geaux Saints! WHO DAT!!!
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21415 posts, RR: 60
Reply 20, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5513 times:

But aren't BUR, SNA, LGB also slot controlled, or are they constrained in a different manner?


Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineLawnDart From United States of America, joined May 2005, 968 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5386 times:

Quoting Dalb777 (Reply 10):
So does this apply for charter aircraft also, such as DL and AA (etc...) planes?

For charters, if you don't have a regular slot that is being unused for that particular day, you have to call the automated system and keep your fingers crossed that there is a slot available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Quoting Dalb777 (Reply 17):
Do you know what four airports these are?



Quoting Bomber996 (Reply 18):
I would assume, LGA, DCA, JFK, and ORD.

Correct.

Quoting Dalb777 (Reply 19):
What about ATL?

Nope. ATL is just busy, but not slot-constrained.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 20):
But aren't BUR, SNA, LGB also slot controlled, or are they constrained in a different manner?

Not sure about BUR, but SNA and LGB do have a slot-constrained system. Although they aren't one of the four original slot-controlled airports (see above), they do have local initiatives that control the amount and/or type of traffic that can operate into those airfields.


User currently offlineWorldjet777 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5240 times:

Quoting Centrair (Reply 12):
I believe most charter flights to Tokyo are flown into HND.

Even International charters? I guess that would make getting to the city easier...any addtl info?
Cheers,
wj777



Now Your Flying Smart
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