Philippe Villard, Vice President of Economic Policy at Airports Council International – North America shares insights on the new WASG provisions that enhance transparency and efficiency in slot allocation.
Efficient airport slot allocation is critical for ensuring smooth and orderly air travel operations. To maintain fairness, transparency, and responsiveness to changing circumstances, the Worldwide Airport Slot Guidelines (WASG) are periodically updated. The latest edition of WASG introduces a significant change that is set to transform the way slot coordinators, airlines, and airport operators share data. This provision underscores the importance of transparency and cooperation within the aviation industry and responds to the need of airport operators to receive data timely and effectively.
The latest edition of the Worldwide Airport Slot Guidelines and the AnnexAccess now
The New Provisions in WASG
The latest edition of the Worldwide Airport Slot Guidelines and its Annex: Best Practice Guidelines for Availability of Slots and Schedule Information introduces a set of new provisions primarily aimed at improving the transparency and availability of slot and schedule information for airport operators. These provisions require coordinators and facilitators to make specific data available to all airlines and airport operators for each scheduling season. Let’s break down these provisions step by step:
- Utilization of Coordination Parameters: Coordinators to provide a list of the most limiting factors for the allocation process at the airports they coordinate for the season.
- Historic Lists Data: Coordinators to share the list of historic slots held by airlines at the airport.
- Full Details of Allocated Times and Outstanding Requests: Coordinators to share complete information by airline regarding allocated slots and outstanding slot requests. This data should be up to date at the time of the request and must contain full details by airline of all allocated times and outstanding requests and be up to date at the time of the request.
- Slots Allocated to Airlines with New Entrant Status: Coordinators to provide data relating to slots allocated to airlines with New Entrant status.
- Schedule Data in SSIM Chapter 7 Format: In addition to the above provisions, airlines are required to provide airport operators with a complete set of schedule data in SSIM Chapter 7 format.
Implications and Benefits
These new provisions in the WASG have significant implications and benefits for the airport industry:
- Transparency: By mandating the sharing of comprehensive data, the provisions increase transparency in slot allocation processes. This transparency is crucial for fostering trust and confidence among airlines, airport operators, and coordinators.
- Fairness and Competition: The detailed information on historic slots, allocated slots and outstanding requests helps create a level playing field. It minimizes information disparities that could favor certain parties and ensures that slots are allocated fairly and competitively.
- Improved Planning: Airport operators now have access to robust data to monitor demand, provide the necessary infrastructure to handle planned airline operations, and issue effectual capacity declarations. This leads to better planning and resource allocation.
- Enhanced Capacity Declaration: The data shared as per these provisions enables airport operators to make more effectual capacity declarations.
- Efficiency: Standardizing data exchange formats and requiring timely updates streamlines the slot process, making it more efficient for all stakeholders involved.
The Worldwide Airport Slot Board endeavors and decision to enhance the exchange of slot data and information through the WASG 3rd Edition is a testament to the aviation industry’s commitment to continuously reviewing and assessing the WASG, ensuring it remains responsive to the needs of all stakeholders and to ever-changing circumstances.
The move toward greater transparency, fairness, and competition in slot allocation benefits not only airport operators, but also all aviation stakeholders. As the industry evolves and faces new challenges, the commitment to transparent data sharing is a significant step toward addressing these challenges and ensuring the growth and sustainability of aviation.