Permits & Slot Flexibility Worldwide – Part 2: Slot Considerations
This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, entitled: “Permits & Slot Flexibility Worldwide – Part 1: Permit Considerations.”
Many airports around the world mandate operators to obtain airport slots. Some airports are more challenging than others in terms of obtaining and managing airport slots. In some cases, there are particular slot request formats to follow, procedures to adhere to as well as specific local requirements and documentation nuances.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Slot request lead times
Slot lead times differ from one airport to the other, but it’s generally recommended to request these as soon as a schedule is known. This is even more important when large events take place, as there is a finite space for multiple operators and in most cases there is a first-come-first-serve rule applied. Also, there are airports that are very congested and there may be limited options to consider when requesting airport slots.
2. Information for slot requests
To request airport slots you’ll normally need to provide full itinerary, aircraft information and, in some cases, seating capacity of the aircraft. There are also locations that request ground handler information to be submitted with such requests.
3. Turkey slot considerations
Istanbul Ataturk (LTBA), Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen (LTFJ) and Ankara (LTAC) are high traffic destinations that can be challenging and particularly strict in terms of adhering to approved slot times. Even though you may have requested slots well in advance, authorities are unlikely to respond with approved slots until just a few days prior to operation. Slot times given may not be the times you’d requested due to congestion at these locations.
4. Slots for Hong Kong
Due to increased traffic and congestion at Hong Kong (VHHH) over recent years there are times when general aviation (GA) airport slots may not be available for an entire day. More information on obtaining slots for VHHH can be found in our article:
5. Slots for Mumbai
Mumbai (VABB) has also experienced high volumes of traffic over recent years, resulting in both lack of slot availability and aircraft parking issues. Be aware that slot deviation for VABB is only +/- 5 minutes and slots must be submitted on a special form.
6. Geneva slot considerations
Geneva (LSGG) strictly adheres to all published slot requirements. Note that slot times are divided into the following 19-minute block times for each hour of the day:
- flights that must arrive between 00:00 and 00:19
- flights that must arrive between 00:20 and 00:39
- flights that must arrive between 00:40 and 00:59
Flights to/from LSGG will not be permitted to land/depart before or later than their approved slot time. It’s important to note that slots for LSGG can’t be requested more than 5 days in advance. Your slot approval must be noted in Item 18 of your ICAO flight plan. If slot confirmations are incorrectly noted, ATC will reject your flight plan and corrections will need to be made before it can be filed again.
7. Singapore Changi slots
Airport slots for Singapore Changi (WSSS) may be requested no earlier than seven days prior to the estimated time of arrival (ETA) or estimated time of departure (ETD). If your planned departure or arrival is more than seven days out a slot request will not be considered or approved until seven days prior. Note that parking at WSSS is limited to a maximum of 48 hours and slot requests will not be approved during the following peak operating periods:
- 0700-1000 local (2300 – 0200 UTC)
- 1600-1900 local (0800 – 1100 UTC)
8. Dubai International
During peak period of scheduled commercial activity — 0800 – 2200 local — it can be difficult obtaining GA airport slots at Dubai International (OMDB). For this reason many operators are now traveling to Dubai World (OMDW), where these GA operating curfews are not currently in place.
9. Slots for popular Mediterranean destinations
Nice (LFMN) frequently experiences slot issues during summer months, due to high traffic and large local event periods. Airport slots can also be difficult to obtain for coastal locations in Italy, as well as Greek islands, during summer months.
10. Slot request procedure
Special formatting must be used when requesting airport slots at certain locations. It’s essential to have a firm itinerary as slot coordinators will not accept TBA schedules. And, in many cases, they’ll not approve a slot until a date/time of departure is provided. At some international locations slots may be requested directly by operators, via a website, while others you may need to have a subscription, renewed on an annual basis, or use ground handler assistance to coordinate airport slots.
Airport slots are required for many airports around the world at many popular destinations for GA aircraft. With the congestion at these airports and competition for remaining slots available after scheduled commercial operators obtain theirs, operating to these destinations such as VHHH will likely become more difficult. For this reason, it’s important to avoid submitting revisions and ensure that your passengers understand the issues with making changes to such requests.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.