Airport slot 02/02/2021

You hear about it during your flights organisation. It is, however, the heart of your trip and its optimisation : the slot.

The Slot, what’s that ?

Quite simply, the slot is a time window whithin an aircaft has to land or take off.

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Why ?

The slot is a regulation and coordination tool of the air traffic between a departure airport and an arrival airport. It opmtimises the aircrafts flow in the airs and on the ground.

We can compare it to a traffic light at a crossroad. It is used for optimising the flow and avoiding accidents.

How is a slot managed ?

Once you have sent back your signed contract with your time preference, the airline with your broker make the requests to the different referring authorities.

Then, the slot is the official time confirmation for operating your flight from to an airport, with all the securities measures required.

Having a slot is essential for the flight to take place. It is the procedural green light for the airport and the regulatory bodies to take charge of the flight.

Who is managing the coordination ?

The coordinator allocates the slots. They distribute them to the airlines and monitor their final utilisation (keeping to the establihed time schedule and flight plan).

In France, the coordinator is within the airport or COHOR, the association for the coordination of timetables (independent association).

Can we choose a specific time ?

Of course ! However if the airport does not have this time availability, we help you to get a more suitable time or an alternative solution.

Apart from time alternative, your airline broker (courtier aérien in french) has the role to advise or suggest another aiport offering a bit more of time flexibility. As an example, Chambéry’s airport can be easily saturate. Then the Grenoble’s and Lyon’s Airports are suggested

Bien sûr ! Cependant si l’aéroport n’a pas de disponibilité sur l’horaire souhaité, nous vous accompagnerons dans la recherche d’un créneau plus adapté ou une solution alternative.

Outre l’alternative horaire, il est du rôle de votre broker (ou courtier aérien pour les puristes), de vous conseiller ou suggérer un aéroport offrant un peu plus de flexibilité. Par exemple, Chambéry, lorsque saturé, ce sont les aéroports de Grenoble ou de Lyon qui sont proposés as highlighted by Iryna Tissot, head of business aviation at VINCI Airports.

Hence, an airport nearby could be a qualititative solution in order to stay close from the final destination during certain seasons.

In order to have the desired time, when should you book your flight ?

Whenenver you want ! Nevertheless, for high requested airports, as Chambéry in winter or Ibiza and Mykonos in summer,the slots became the new sinews of war in the aviation sector. Therefore, it is préférable to anticipate the request in order to have a slot. As for your medical appointment at a specialist, it allows to have a precise slot or wider range of choice.

Can we lose our slot ?

No, a slot cannot be lose before a flight.

However, certain circumstances (weather, strike, …) could lead to regulate or thwart the punctuality of the slot.

In this case, EUROCONTROL – the european organisation for the safety of air navigation – takes the lead and regulates the european sky by adjusting the slots.

You’ve certainly experienced it : you were on board a plane, with the doors closed, waiting for departure. Well, it is often Eurocontrol that is the source of your waiting. This system, finely codified, makes it possible to juggle with the various parameters in order to give the “top start” at the most appropriate moment.

What happens to the slot of a cancelled flight?

When requesting a slot, a waiting list is often created. As with withdrawals for the college application, the next person becomes eligible.

Can a slot be sold or bought?

A slot cannot be sold, then subsequently cannot be bought either. It is illegal.

The slots (airport) reveal you all their secrets… or almost all of them ! Take it further and understand the management of a slot within an airport.

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