The capacity of many of Europe’s key airports is restricted. As a result of increasing demand for air transport and financial and environmental constraints on expanding airport capacity, the shortage of capacity at key European airports is likely to become more severe in the future.
Regulation (EEC) 95/93 established an administrative mechanism for the allocation of capacity at congested airports. The Regulation was aimed at ensuring non-discriminatory and transparent procedures for allocation of slots, and was partly based on the established framework of scheduling procedures that had been developed by the air transport industry. Member States designate congested airports as co-ordinated, and slot co-ordinators at each of these airports seek to balance the demand for slots with the supply. Where there is excess demand, the co-ordinators allocate slots on the basis of administrative criteria including, in particular, grandfather rights; where slots become available, in order to promote competition, preference is given to new entrants.
The Regulation was modified by Regulation (EC) 793/2004 , which made a number of technical improvements, for example, to the processes for monitoring the correct use of slots and to the independent operation of the co-ordinator; it also introduced sanctions for abuse of slots. In addition, the ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ rule, which requires that a series of slots must be used 80% of the time to retain grandfather rights, has been suspended on several occasions, most recently due to the international economic crisis and subsequent downturn in traffic volumes.
The objective of this consultation is to evaluate the current operation of the Regulation, and to collect information to be used in an impact assessment of possible changes to it.
The consultation is being launched only in electronic form via the interactive policy-making tool.
We welcome contributions from citizens, organisations and public authorities.
Received contributions will be published on the Internet. It is important to read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.
You are strongly advised to prepare your contribution in advance before filling-in the questionnaire online. We recommend you download the PDF file of the questionnaire [85 KB] , to allow you to draft your answers to the open text questions carefully and check whether you have kept to the maximum number of characters (4,000 characters, which is about 50 lines for each open text field or roughly 1.5 pages of A4).
After preparing all your answers, please open the online questionnaire and fill it in. Begin with the closed questions and then copy and paste the answers you have drafted into the open text fields of the electronic questionnaire. You will have 90 minutes to fill in the complete electronic questionnaire and to submit it. After 90 minutes, the system will automatically close and you may lose any answers that have not yet been submitted.
Questions are either compulsory or optional. If any of the compulsory fields have not been filled in, the system will not allow you to submit the questionnaire but will redirect you to the incomplete answer and give you an opportunity to correct it. An error message will appear in a purple/red colour under the question in which a problem occurred.
Please note that you should not use the ‘Back’ button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen to navigate the online questionnaire, because this will lead to a loss of all the data that you have already inserted. For navigation, you should use the buttons ‘Next’ and ‘Previous’ at the bottom of the questionnaire page instead.
When you successfully submit the questionnaire, a confirmation message will appear on your screen and you can print your answers.
Although the consultation is open for 8 weeks, we would encourage stakeholders to respond as soon as possible.
Contributions may be submitted in any official EU language.
Please note that it is not useful to submit the same answers many times because what will be taken into account are the arguments, facts and figures that are submitted, not the number of times they are submitted.
Most questions ask about the impacts the policy options could have. In responding to these questions, please distinguish between the following impacts, and to the extent possible, please quantify expected impacts:
- any impacts on the number of slots for which services would actually be scheduled;
- any impacts on the proportion of slots for which services have been scheduled which are actually used;
- any impacts on the mix of traffic, such as the type of carrier (low cost, legacy or leisure carriers), the size or type of aircraft used, or the type of services (long/short haul);
- any impact on administrative costs;
- any impacts on competition; and
- any other impacts.
Contributions received in reply to the consultation will be handled by a consultant and used by the Commission services; the summary of the consultation's results will be published on the Commission's website. If you do not wish your contribution to be made public, please indicate this in your reply. In that case, your reply will also not be mentioned in future documents that may refer to this consultation.
If you are replying on behalf of an organisation, please state your name, address and official title in your reply. Any reply on behalf of an organisation which does not state the interests which it represents or the extent to which it is representative of the sector (number of members, size of organisation in relation to the sector to which its members belong) will be regarded as an individual reply and not a collective reply.
As part of the European Transparency Initiative, organisations are invited to use the Register of interest representatives to provide the European Commission and the public at large with information about their objectives, funding and structures. If you are not registered yet in this register, please visit: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/transparency/regrin/welcome.do?locale=en
Please note that this document has been drafted for information and consultation purposes only. It has not been adopted or in any way approved by the European Commission and should not be regarded as representative of the views of Commission staff. It does not in any way prejudge, or constitute the announcement of, any position on the part of the Commission on the issues covered.
The European Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided, nor does it accept responsibility for any use made thereof.
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