A slot is an authorization to either take-off or land at a particular airport on a particular day during a specified time period to prevent repeated delays that result from too many flights trying to take off or land at the same time.
Slots may be administered by the operator of the airport or by a government aviation regulator such as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Landing slots are allocated in accordance with guidelines set down by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Worldwide Airport Slots Group.
Slot allocation is only regulated at ‘coordinated airports’. These airports have insufficient capacity to meet actual or planned airline operations.
Why slot management is important for an airline manager?
Because it helps manage slot changes without wasting any available slots as schedules change. And, as changes happen, will help you to avoid losing historic slots for the next year. Preventing Errors Ensures slot requests are complete and accurate according to IATA standards.
Key Principles of Slot Allocation at Hong Kong International Airport HKIA:
- Slots are allocated to airlines by the Coordinator for planning purposes at VHHH/HKG.
- Slots can only be allocated to airline/aircraft operators.
- An airline/aircraft operator must have a slot allocated to it before operating at HKIA except for the types of operations listed in Annex 1 of the HKSCG.
- Airline/aircraft operators must not intentionally operate services at a significantly different time or intentionally use slots in a significantly different way than allocated by the Coordinator.
- A series of slots is at least 5 slots allocated for the same or approximately same time on the same day-of-the-week, distributed regularly in the same season.
- An airline is entitled to retain a series of slots for the next equivalent season if they were operated at least 80% of the time during the period for which they were allocated. This is referred to as historic precedence.
- Historic slots may not be withdrawn from an airline to accommodate new entrants or any other category of aircraft operator. Confiscation of slots for proven intentional slot misuse will be subject to the provisions.
- Slots may be transferred or swapped between airlines, or used as part of a shared operation.
- The Coordinator will act in a neutral, transparent and non-discriminatory way.
- The allocation of slots is independent from the assignment of traffic rights under bilateral air service agreements.
- Airline/aircraft operators and the Coordinator will use the IATA Standard Schedules Information Manual (SSIM) message formats for communications at HKIA.
- Slot times are based on the planned on-block (arrival) and off-block (departure) times.
- All activities involving slots, including the determination of historic slots, are in UTC, unless otherwise agreed.
- Monitoring of the use of allocated slots will be performed by the Coordinator.
Partnering up with a reliable flight support provider like iJET will help to operate your flights seamless without any delay or error obtaining the slot upon arrival/ departure at Honk Kong Airport (VHHH/ HKG) and obtaining landing permit .
Slot monitoring is the continuous process of reconciling the operations of airline/aircraft operators to the slots allocated by the Coordinator at HKIA.
Slot monitoring phases:
- a) Pre-operation analysis: is a recommended process by WASG that will help identify and prevent potential slot misuse prior to the day of operation.
- b) Post-operation analysis: will help determine whether misuse of slots has occurred and whether airlines achieve historic precedence for the following equivalent season.
Slot Coordination Process:
- The allocation of slots is independent from the assignment of traffic rights under bilateral air services agreements. Airline/aircraft operators require both slot clearances and necessary licence/operating permit to carry out scheduled commercial operations. For charter operations, a charter permit would be applicable.
- Calendar of Coordination Activities : The coordination process is driven by the “Calendar of Coordination Activities”
- Communication of Business Plans Between Airlines, AA and the Coordinator:
- In addition to formally applying for slots at HKIA, each airline will also have the opportunity to explain to the Coordinator its operational constraints, business priorities, and plan for HKIA, to assist the Coordinator in obtaining a holistic view of the airline’s slot requests. In return, the Coordinator may give the airline advice with respect to how the available capacity and potential allocation of slots may impact its plans. This opportunity should occur before the Initial Submission Deadline. The information provided to the Coordinator by the airline might include confidential information and therefore the Coordinator will not share that information to any other party, unless specifically authorised by the airline
- AA will also have the opportunity to explain to the Coordinator the business and expansion plans of HKIA, to assist the Coordinator in obtaining a holistic view of how the available capacity may be allocated and impact these plans. This opportunity should occur before the Initial Submission Deadline. The details of the business plan conveyed to the Coordinator by AA might include confidential information and therefore the Coordinator will not share that information with any other party, unless specifically authorised by AA.
- This exchange of information is solely to assist the Coordinator in understanding the impact of allocation on the various business plans of airlines and AA and must be done without compromising the independence of the Coordinator. All discussions should in principle take place prior to initial coordination, to allow the Coordinator to complete this task without distraction or influence. The Coordinator will continue to apply the primary and secondary criteria for Initial Slot Allocation of 1 and 2 previous steps of the HKSCG in a neutral, transparent, and non-discriminatory manner. The Coordinator will not disclose the competitively sensitive information it receives from airlines or AA.
- Use of Standard Schedules Information Manual (SSIM)
All scheduling-related messages emailed to the Coordinator, such as Slot Clearance Request (SCR) for new slots or revisions to existing slot clearances, must be in compliance with message formats specified in IATA Standard Schedules Information Manual (SSIM) Chapter 6. Standard-format message with file attachments or special characters will be rejected.
Types of Operations Exempted from Obtaining Slot Clearances
- Emergency Situation including diversions and the subsequent departure flight or quick returns after take-off and the subsequent departure within 24 hours.
- State Aircraft including Heads of State flights, flights carrying Government Ministers, or flights carrying visiting dignitaries from abroad on an official visit.
- Military Flights including military flights carrying supplies or on mission.
- Humanitarian Flights including medical emergencies, donor flights, search and rescue, and air ambulance flights.
- Hong Kong Government Flying Service flights.
- Technical Flights – including Radar and ILS calibration flights, aerial survey flights, radio frequency interference (RFI) and NAVAID check flights.
iJET provides multiple services at Hong Kong International Airport VHHH/HKG the main airport in Hong Kong and home to one of the world’s largest passenger terminal buildings for the following:
- Private jets
- Charter flights
- Commercial airlines (Scheduled and non-scheduled flights)
- Cargo Airlines (Scheduled and non-scheduled flights)
- Air Ambulance and Medical Evacuation Flights
- Military and Government Flights
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