How to Overcome Airports with Slot Issues: Part 3 – 7 Popular Airports with Challenging Slots

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How to Overcome Airports with Slot Issues: Part 3 – 7 Popular Airports with Challenging Slots

This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, titled “How to Overcome Airports with Slot Issues: Part 2 – Slot Challenges.”

Here and there around the world you’ll encounter airport slot situations more challenging than the average. These are typically very popular locations frequently congested with scheduled commercial activity. With proper advance planning and coordination with your 3rd-party provider and local ground handler; however, even airports with the more rigorous slot request/revision policies are usually manageable.

Here are six popular airports with challenging slots and the info you need to successfully navigate their processes:

1. Haneda airport slot information

In Haneda (RJAA), airport slot requests must be submitted by the Japanese agency handling the aircraft no earlier than the last business day before the 15th of the month prior to operation. Airport slots will be issued by the 25th of that same month for operations the following month. If your request is not made by the 15th (of the month prior to your operation) you’ll need to wait until after slot allocations have been issued, on the 25th, in order to access remaining slot availability. Note that between the hours of 0600 – 2300 local only eight airport slots are designated for general aviation (GA). The Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) has the authority to assign available airport slots and allocates them as close to requested time as possible. Slot validity for RJTT is +/- 15 minutes.

2. Narita airport slot information

Airport slots for Narita (RJAA) should be requested no later than the last business day before the 5th day of the prior month to the date of operation. JCAB allocates slots by the 15th of the same month for the following month. If your request is not submitted by the 5th day of the prior month you’ll need to wait until after slot allocations are made – at 0800 UTC on the 15th – in order to take up remaining slot availability for the month. At RJAA a total of 615 airport slots per day are shared by scheduled airline and general aviation (GA) operations. Three slots per day are designated for exclusive use of GA. GA, however, has the opportunity of using any slot availability left over by the scheduled carriers. Busiest time of year for RJAA airport slots is September – November. GA slot availability is generally more difficult 0500-1030 UTC each day, and it’s somewhat easier between 2100-0500 and 1030-1300 UTC. Airport slots for RJAA are valid +/1 one hour.

3. Mumbai airport slot information

Slots for Mumbai (VABB) are typically requested via 3rd-party providers. If you’re applying for airport slots directly, the request must be made to the VABB slot office and a special form is required. Note that confirmed airport slots must be used or cancelled as alternatively you’ll incur a fine. Airport slots for VABB are valid +/-5 minutes.

4. Pudong, Shanghai airport slot information

Pudong, Shanghai (ZSPD) only permits up to 10 GA movements during daily peak hours of 0800-2200 local. During these hours only one arrival or departure slot will be issued per aircraft per day. So, if you land at ZSPD during a peak hour period it may be several hours before you have the ability to depart. Airport slots for ZSPD are valid +/- 5 minutes.

5. Beijing airport information

Airport slots for Beijing (ZBAA) must be requested via handlers. Only one GA movement/hour is permitted between 0800-2200 local. So, it’s not possible to arrive and depart during peak hours on the same day. Your landing permit serves as your airport slot confirmation for ZBAA. No adjustments to slot times are permitted, and it’s not possible to improve on assigned airport slot times. Slots for ZBAA are valid +/- 30 min.

6. London – Luton airport slots

Over the past months due to increased scheduled commercial activity, Luton (EGGW) has become more challenging for airport slots. Currently, we are finding that there are large time brackets where no slots may be available causing delays for operators. However, there are many airport options in the area that can handle business aviation operators. One great option is Stansted (EGSS) that is close to the same distance from London. Note that when traveling to any slot-coordinated airport in the U.K., all slots are obtained from the same online source and once confirmed, authorities request that the operator adhere to the slot approved time and not deviate from it.

7. Hong Kong airport information

It’s important to note that recently VHHH has become more complex. When traveling to this airport, the ground handler won’t confirm services until the arrival/departure slot, landing permit, and aircraft parking are confirmed. Airport slots for VHHH must be requested through the online platform and are valid +/- 15 minutes. Note that due to congestion at the airport, there are cases where slots are not available for the entire day. This makes operations to this airport much more difficult and may require changing the schedule to meet the slots available.

8. Additional reading: Airports with Slot Issues – Series Index

Note: Links will be updated as articles are published.


One of the benefits of business aviation is the ability to operate into the closest and most preferred locations in terms of passenger requirements/preferences. Although some airports are more challenging than others, in terms of airport slot management, solutions are usually available to meet passengers schedule commitments.


If you have any questions about this article or need assistance arranging your slots for your upcoming trip, contact me at

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