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ESC asks governments to take a closer look into slot allocation problem

The European Shippers’ Council (ESC) has called for national governments to take a long, hard look into the issue involving the continent’s slots allocation.

The ESC alluded to the fact that officials of European nations’ national parliaments are already in talks with regards to criteria related to slot allocations, such as sustainability, noise reduction and economic output of flights.

However, the ESC believes they can also make a difference in the problem of slot availability that the aviation industry is experiencing at many of its airports.

The capacity problem at many European airports has been due to the growth in the global aviation industry. Some major hubs have actually reached its tipping point. These include Hong Kong, Beijing, Mexico City, London Heathrow and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

The ESC asserted that the issue has resulted in conflicts between home carriers, low cost carriers and freighter operators for keeping their respective positions.

A recent example was when Schiphol’s air cargo community called on Dutch officials to implement a proposed “local rule” to put an end to the aircraft slot crisis at Europe’s number three cargo hub.

ESC says cargo carriers are struggling to hold their ground at hubs such as Schiphol, because of the 80/20 regulation for preserving slot rights, which is enforced when there is more demand for slots that supply.

The regulation guarantees a non-discriminatory means of re-allocating slots at national airports but it doesn’t factor in the intricacy of cargo flights. In particular, the simple fact that if cargo is not ready, a freighter will not just take off.

The ESC said that governments could actually have a hand with the slot allocation process. The government could make sure that different flight types are represented at main thoroughfares.

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