WASHINGTON - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) today condemned the Bush Administration’s plans to lease or auction airport take-off and landing slots at New York City’s airports as an ineffective way to alleviate unacceptable congestion in the region.

“The White House and the Department of Transportation are out of step with the global aviation community. A take-off slot at JFK requires terminal space, a parking stand and a landing slot somewhere else. This is a complex situation and an eBay approach - slot auctioning^- will not solve the problem,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

The Government’s auctioning of landing slots could result in fewer flight choices, inefficient connections and higher prices - penalising airlines and passengers alike. IATA, along with the majority of other industry groups, support the use of IATA’s Worldwide Scheduling Guidelines (WSG) to manage congestion at New York’s international airports.

“Experience tells us that auctioning will not achieve the desired result. And it potentially breaches international obligations and agreements. But there is no need to reinvent the wheel. International coordination is needed. The IATA Worldwide Scheduling Guidelines are a ready-made solution to bring order to the chaos at New York’s airports. They are already used in over 140 of the world’s busiest airports, including Chicago O’Hare,” said Bisignani.

“Let’s also remember that this is a capacity problem that we believe can be fully remedied with better operations and improved infrastructure. The Department of Transportation needs to focus its resources on quickly implementing industry recommendations on short and long-term solutions. We need action not auctions,” Bisignani said.

Editor's notes

  • IATA has some 240 members comprising 94% of scheduled international traffic
  • IATA’s Worldwide Scheduling Guidelines (WSG) is a global standard that has been employed successfully for 60 years and is currently followed at 140 Level 3 airports worldwide.