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Worldwide Airport Slots

Each year, over 1.5 billion passengers - 43% of global traffic - depart from over 200 slot coordinated airports. The number of slot coordinated airports is expected to grow significantly due to a lack of expansion in airport infrastructure to cope with increasing demand.

IATA is at the forefront of ensuring a fair, neutral and transparent allocation of airport slots at the worlds’ most congested airports through the application of the Worldwide Slot Guidelines (WSG).

By having the same set of rules at both the departure and arrival airport, the WSG allow airlines to plan their whole network and schedule, and provide choice and connectivity to the passengers.       

Our Role Workgroups Strategic Review Training FAQs Position Papers

In June 2016 IATA initiated the Strategic Review of the slot guidelines to identify the areas where the WSG could be modernized. IATA invited Airports Council International and Worldwide Airport Coordinators Group to join the review in order to ensure total industry participation from all the stakeholders in the improvement and optimization of the WSG, as one single global slot process.

In June 2017 four task forces were created and are working on a set of recommendations for changes and enhancements to the WSG where necessary. The review should be completed in late 2019, and the respective amendments published in the WSG following industry approval.

Objectives of the Strategic Review

  • Strengthen the principles of the WSG
  • Ensure policy and procedures remain relevant
  • Reinforce the benefits of the single global process
  • Better take advantage of new technologies

The Task Forces

  • Airport Levels - looking at how to ensure that airports that are currently not congested (or at least not congested all the time) can continue to grow and provide the connectivity and services that consumers want without having to impose the complex allocation processes that have to be used for fully congested (Level 3) airports
  • Historic Determination - reviewing the current processes involved in retaining slots and how to ensure best use of scarce capacity to promote connectivity and choice to the customer
  • Slot Performance Monitoring – how best to ensure that airlines use their slots as allocated, without penalising airlines for unforeseen ‘on the day’ operational factors (e.g. air traffic control congestion, tech aircraft, strikes or bad weather)
  • Access to Congested Airports – looking at enhancing the process for allocating slots to airlines wishing to get access to congested airports, whilst maintaining transparent and clear rules for all

WSG Strategic Review 2019 update - summary of the changes to the WSG

The changes as a result of the work of the task forces  have been publilshed n the 9th and 10th editions of the WSG. To learn more about the chnages and enhancments to the WSG please visit the Strategic Review Update  (pdf) for more information.


To contact us, please email: wsgsr@iata.org

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