Airplane taking off

Aircraft Manufacturer - Global Slot Study

The challenge

Nyras was commissioned by an aircraft manufacturer to conduct an independent global study on slot and capacity management at key airports, in order to understand how future aircraft development could ease congestion.

The key goals of the assignment were to:

  • Identify global developments, trends and actual slot practices.
  • Evaluate ‘best practice’ slot and capacity management at major congested airports worldwide.
  • Develop case studies for London Heathrow, Frankfurt Airport and Tokyo Narita Airport to illustrate methodologies in practice.

The solution

We began by understanding the root cause of congestion at a selection of airports worldwide, before assessing how best practice in both slot and capacity management could be effectively harnessed to relieve the problem.

During our initial analysis, we considered both slot constraining and enabling factors, including those attributed to infrastructure and those relating to other issues such as regulation, policy, procedure and process.

Infrastructure-related issues included the application of ATM modernisation such as GBAS, A-SMGCS, TBS (Time Based Separation), adoption of PBN (Performance Based Navigation) or improvements in runway, rapid exit taxiways, apron and terminal design and build.

Other factors taken into consideration were slot regulations and local slot rules, environmental policy, airport charging policy, slot management and monitoring, capacity declaration process, routing bias, wake vortex separation policy and A-CDM-enabled processes.

Following desk research on slot regulation, coordination and processes at our sample airports, we visited 19 strategic airports on 5 continents. Here we interviewed relevant stakeholders including IATA slot representatives, regulatory experts, civil aviation authorities, slot coordinators, ATC management, airport capacity and airline slot management. 

Having gathered both quantitative and qualitative information on how slot and capacity are managed, we conducted a number of comparative studies. We assessed how efficiently the airports performed when the declared capacity of each runway was increased, how efficiently they managed available slots and how effectively they allocated slots to ensure smooth scheduling.

We also established the correlation between wide-body aircraft and the number of passengers throughout each operating hour, per runway and assessed how each airport performed against this benchmark. This wealth of knowledge enabled us to provide our client with industry best practice in slot and capacity management.

The results

As a result of our study, our client was able to identify solutions that were adopted by various stakeholders to ease congestion, and support aircraft, airport and ATM technological development.

Solutions identified included:

  • Airlines adopting larger aircraft to optimise slot usage.
  • Airports adjusting charging structures to encourage large aircraft operations.
  • Slot community adopting best practice in slot coordination and management to eliminate or reduce slot misuse or abuse.
  • Airports improving infrastructure and operations procedures such as RETs (Rapid Exit Taxiway), ‘toast racks’, aprons, taxiway lighting sequencing, A-CDM, time-based separation and runway occupancy time.
  • Air traffic control improving technology and procedures such as A-SMGCS, EFPS (Electronic Flight Progress Strip), GBAS, PBN, WAM (Wide Area Multilateration) and wake vortex separation.

How can we help?

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