Avion346
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How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:23 am

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?
 
CMHSRQ
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:44 am

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.
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B747-437B
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:49 am

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/
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Coal
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:50 am

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

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Avion346
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:18 am

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.
 
ABpositive
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:25 am

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)?
 
bomber996
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:49 am

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?

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TransWorldSTL
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:05 am

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..
 
worldjet777
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:33 am

What if one ran a chartered DC-10 from some US airport into NRT? How does that work?
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LawnDart
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:34 am

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.
 
dalb777
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:27 pm

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?
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BreninTW
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:48 pm

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
 
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:04 pm

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.
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Avion346
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:47 pm

Thanks for all the information.....a lot of questions are cleared-up
 
cornish
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:11 pm

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 ?
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SP90
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:28 pm

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?
 
dnl65
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 5:07 am

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
 
dalb777
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:17 am

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?
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bomber996
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:56 am

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.

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dalb777
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:03 am

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

What about ATL?
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ikramerica
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:30 am

But aren't BUR, SNA, LGB also slot controlled, or are they constrained in a different manner?
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LawnDart
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:26 pm

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.
 
worldjet777
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RE: How Do Aiport Slots Work?

Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:48 pm

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?
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