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Florence Air Forum on slots allocation

The 11th Florence Air Forum on ‘Navigating Towards a More Efficient Airport Slots Allocation Regime in Europe’, organised by the Transport Area of the Florence School of Regulation, gathered policy makers, industry representatives, and academics for a discussion on the design flaws of the current EU slot allocation regime.

The event took place on 6 September in Budapest with the aim of examining the needs and reform options for a future slot allocation framework, drawing on national and local best practices and lessons learnt. The adoption of first EU-wide common rules for the allocation of slots at EU airports in line with the IATA’s Worldwide Scheduling Guidelines dates back to 1993. Seeking better enforcement of the rules and addressing critical aspects relating to safeguarding co-ordinators’ independence and facilitating the access to slots to new entrants, the Commission adopted communications on the application of the Slot Regulation only in 2007 and 2008 respectively. An analysis carried out in 2010-11 on the functioning of the Slot Regulation showed that the slot allocation system required improvements, however, the resulting recast process launched by the Commission failed to reach consensus on the way forward. This year, DG MOVE has commissioned a study to assess the current slot allocation regime and to explore future options for evolving the regime.

  • Participants at the forum looked at the following critical questions: How effective has the existing slots regime been in ensuring optimal airport capacity utilisation and allocation of slots to airlines? Are there misuses of the rules that could be avoided? What are the various administrative- and market-based measures (e.g. auctioning, congestion pricing models) that could be considered in improving the regime’s efficiency? What are the possible ways forward for reforming the EU’s airport slots system (e.g. synergies with Airport Charges, Public Service Obligations, Traffic Distribution Rules, others)? All presentations of the forum are accessible at the event’s homepage here.