Airline associations around the world have called for governments to ensure the global alignment of airport slot regulations to safeguard the consistent, fair, and transparent allocation of slots under the Worldwide Airport Slot Guidelines (WASG).
Photo Insert: The airline associations also urged governments thinking of incorporating the WASG or amending existing slot regulations to work with the Worldwide Airport Slot Board.
In a joint statement, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines (AAPA), the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO), Airlines for America (A4A), Airlines International Representation in Europe (AIRE), European Express Association, European Regions Airline Association (ERAA), Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) and African Airlines Association (AFRAA), set out the benefits of the WASG.
The agreement has ensured decades of stability and consistency in the application of slot management.
Under the WASG, consumers have benefitted from consistent growth in reliable schedules and expansion to new markets, while airlines and airports increase their utilization of scarce airport capacity.
Fragmentation of slot regulation risks disruption to airline schedules and imperils the advances in global connectivity and efficiency which characterized the aviation industry in recent decades.
With the number of slot-regulated airports worldwide growing steadily, it is vital that governments harmonize slot regulations in line with the WASG. Already, the WASG has undergone significant revision in recent years, with improvements to the new entrant definition to increase competition and access opportunities at congested airports.
Slot performance monitoring has also been better defined to ensure the optimal use of allocated slots. It is therefore important that national or regional slot regulations are aligned dynamically with the WASG so that the aviation sector and travelers can immediately benefit from the system.
The airline associations also urged governments thinking of incorporating the WASG or amending existing slot regulations to work with the Worldwide Airport Slot Board.
This body, composed of slot experts from airlines, airports, and slot coordinators, oversees expert revisions to the WASG.
Consulting with this group of experts can ensure that governments, their economies and citizens, will continue to reap the benefits of an increasingly more interconnected, sustainable and efficient air transport network.
“The air transport industry thrives on consistent global standards. The Worldwide Airport Slot Guidelines are the unsung hero the air transport system," maintained Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
He pointed out: "Because of the WASG, travelers, businesses and economies the world over have benefited from constant growth in air connectivity, strong competition, and route diversity while ensuring that utilization of scarce airport capacity also increased."
In conclusion, Walsh said: "Governments should align their slot rules with this global standard to benefit from better air connectivity, efficiency, and consumer choice.”