News

Iata disputes Dutch airport slots rule

Iata plans legal action against a new runway slots rule introduced for three airports in the Netherlands.

The airline trade body is opposing a new policy for slot allocation at airports including Amsterdam Schiphol which it claims would prescribe a list of priority destinations.

Iata argues that the implementation of the rule will make the market less responsive to consumer needs.

The association claims this is in breach of European regulation on the common rules for community air services and European slot regulation.


More: ‘Travel is not increasing UK Covid risk’ says Iata boss

European airports dispute Iata warnings over Covid recovery charges

Pegasus Airlines boss to chair Iata


The rule was implemented by the Dutch slots co-ordinator ACNL to take effect for the summer 2022 season.

Iata deputy director general Conrad Clifford said: “In addition to contravening EU regulations, the setting of priority destination lists by Royal Schiphol Group as part of the slot allocation process is bad for consumers, businesses, airlines and the economy.

“Moreover, straying from established global standards risks damage to international relations.

“The application of the rule in slot allocation decisions compromises the role of the independent and impartial slot coordinators enshrined in EU law, instead requiring priority to be given in their decision-making to a list of destinations.

“This makes the co-ordinator the servant of the airport to the disadvantage of the airlines and the consumer.”

Clfford added: “Allowing airports to decide priority for slots by destinations set by themselves for airlines to serve, makes no commercial sense.

“The slot allocation process must serve the needs of consumers who want to reliably fly or move freight. That means enabling airlines to design schedules that meet consumer demand, not the desires of the infrastructure provider.

“Slot allocation must be a neutral process matching available slots with commercial potential. The WASG [Worldwide Airport Slot Guidelines]

have been painstakingly developed over many years to ensure open competition and the best allocation of scare resources to meet consumer demand.

“This action by ACNL is a backward step that cannot be allowed to stand.”

ACNL said it may “review and amend” this working procedure during the Iata season.

More: ‘Travel is not increasing UK Covid risk’ says Iata boss

European airports dispute Iata warnings over Covid recovery charges

Pegasus Airlines boss to chair Iata

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.