Invitation to take part in the EU Slot Regulation impact questionnaire

The European Commission is conducting a study about the impact of potential changes to the Slot Regulation. The Steer group has therefore set up a Slot Regulation impact assessment questionnaire as a support to this study.

The Slot Regulation (Regulation (EEC) n° 95/93) sets the rules on the allocation of slots at EU airports. It contains a use-it-or-lose-it rule, whereby air carriers must use at least 80% of their allocated slots within a given scheduling period in order to keep precedence in respect of the same series of slots within the corresponding scheduling period of the next year (so-called grandfather rights).

This rule had to be adjusted twice during the COVID-19 crisis when airlines could no longer comply with it and completed with further exceptions in 2022 to address the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

As airport slots usage ratio has returned to pre-pandemic levels, the EU Commission now considers reviewing the Slot Regulation in order to respond more flexibly to unexpected developments such as an epidemiological situation or military aggression in the near future.

The objectives of the impact assessment study are to:

·       verify the existence of a problem;

·       identify its underlying causes;

·       assess whether EU action is needed; and

·       analyse the advantages and disadvantages of available solutions.

Considering the importance of slot regulation within the application of competition law, especially in Luxembourg, the Luxembourg Competition Authority invites all concerned stake-holders to express their views and provide relevant data or evidence for the study.

Stakeholders include national authorities (ministries of transport, civil aviation authorities, and competition authorities), air carriers and their associations, airports and their associations, slot coordinators and their associations, consumer associations, environmental associations, ground handling companies and their associations, trade unions and their associations, the Network Manager, travel agents and ticket distributors, and investors.

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