Airport slots key to air transport system, says Willie Walsh

152nd Slot Conference in Dublin calls on governments to recognise WASG
/ New Delhi
Airport slots key to air transport system, says Willie Walsh

Worldwide Airport Slot Guidelines: Enabling Global Air Connectivity and Economic Growth," says IATA's Director General, Willie Walsh

International Air Transport Association (IATA) says that under the Worldwide Airport Slot Guidelines (WASG), consumers have benefitted from a consistent growth in reliable schedules and expansion to new markets, while airlines and airports have seen an increase in the utilisation of scarce airport capacity.
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Global association of airlines, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says that airline associations from around the world lobbied governments for assurance that airport slot policies are aligned globally to protect the consistent, equitable, and transparent allocation of slots under the Worldwide Airport Slot Guidelines (WASG).

Fragmentation of slot regulation places airline schedules at risk and jeopardises recent developments in global connectivity, efficiency, competitiveness, and choice in the aviation sector. Governments must recognise the significance of aligning slot laws in accordance with the WASG as the number of airports worldwide with slot regulations continue to rise, says IATA in a press statement.

In this regard, a joint statement from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA), Airlines for America (A4A), Airlines International Representation in Europe (AIRE), Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO), Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines (AAPA), European Express Association, European Regions Airline Association (ERAA), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) underscore how decades testify to WASG’s  stability and consistency in the application of slot management.

IATA says that at the 152nd Slot Conference in Dublin, Ireland, this appeal was issued which gathered more than 1,000 participants for the Slot Conference, including 215 distinct airlines and more than 200 airports that coordinate their slot operations.

While airlines and airports have experienced an increase in the utilisation of limited airport capacity under the WASG, consumers have benefited from a constant growth in reliable schedules and expansion to new markets, adds IATA.

“The air transport industry thrives on consistent global standards. The Worldwide Airport Slot Guidelines are the unsung hero of the air transport system. Because of the WASG, travellers, businesses and economies the world over have benefited from constant growth in air connectivity, strong competition, and route diversity while ensuring that utilisation of scarce airport capacity also increased. Governments should align their slot rules with this global standard to benefit from better air connectivity, efficiency, and consumer choice,” says Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

With modifications to the new entrant definition to foster more competition and access to possibilities at crowded airports, the WASG has undergone a considerable revision in recent years. IATA adds that to ensure optimal utilisation of allotted slots, slot performance monitoring has also been properly specified. In order to ensure the aviation industry and travellers may immediately benefit from these and other system improvements, it is crucial that national or regional slot regulations are dynamically linked with the WASG.

IATA adds that The Slot Conference, which has been held twice a year since 1948, is a major event in the calendar of aviation planning since it provides a venue for meeting to quickly optimise planned schedules while exploring new possibilities for route and network expansion. In order to provide their passengers with the greatest schedule possible at coordinated airports, airlines must win the slots at the conference. The next conference will be held during November 14–17 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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