New rules on airport slots to boost Europe capacity

New rules on airport slots to boost Europe capacity

The European Commission is hoping to introduce new legislation to make air travel more efficient and create capacity for 28 million for journeys a year.

An EU study into the use of Europe’s airspace and major hubs has concluded more efficient use could add £4.4 billion to the economies of Europe between 2012 and 2015.

The UK is the biggest aviation market in Europe with 214 million flyers using its airspace and airports in 2010 ahead of Spain (193 million), Germany (191 million), France (143 million) and Italy (140 million).

The European Commission is poised to approve new legislation aimed at solving the problem of congestion at Europe’s airports with the issue only set to worsen as airports like Heathrow which have no plans to expand.

The EU study suggests the practice of secondary trading of slots as happens at London’s airports could be a potential model for how other airports across Europe should operate.

Although this can open up availability to non-traditional carriers which are often given preferential treatment, the report says that airlines have little incentive to trade slots they currently control but cannot use efficiently.

The European Commission will call for slots to be allocated in a more transparent manner and to bring in European-wide penalties for misuse of slots to open up the market to new entrants.

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