Origin and regulation of slots (SLOTS)

    The exponential growth in demand for air transport necessitated the implementation of internationally agreed measures at the airport level in order to reconcile them with the capacity of the installations, leading to the emergence of slot coordination activity (Slots, in its best known international meaning), as an instrument to support the efficient use of resources.

    The International Air Transport Association ( IATA) initially promoted this activity by setting up local slot coordination offices at those airports that needed it. The publication of recommended procedures and allocation priorities takes place for the first time in 1976.

    In the countries of the European Union, it was not until the 1990s that, with the publication of Regulation (EEC) No 95/93 in 1993, the legal basis for this activity would be established for European Union airports and independent entities then began to carry out slot coordination activities in each country.

    In the Spanish case, it has been the Public Business Entity Aena, by designation of the Ministry of Public Works, which has carried out the functions of Coordinator and Facilitator of Time Strips for Spanish airports between 1993 and 2014, through its Coordination Office of Airport Slots. Since September 15, 2014, it is the association AECFA (Spanish Association for the Coordination and Facilitation of Time Strips) that performs these functions for Spanish airports, after its designation as Coordinator and Facilitator of Time Strips by the Ministry of Public Works (Order FOM/1050/2014, of June 17). Currently, AECFA is responsible for the coordination of slots at 13 Spanish airports (coordinated airports) and for the facilitation of slots at 14 other Spanish airports (facilitated airports).

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