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17 January 2007

Mott MacDonald’s aviation report will help inform future EU policy

The European Commission’s Directorate of Energy and Transport has published a study, conducted by Mott MacDonald * , which investigated how the regulation of Europe’s airport slot allocation system might be changed to help increase the efficiency in use and allocation of scarce airport slot capacity, particularly at the most congested EU airports.

Mott MacDonald's aviation consultancy team were briefed to investigate the implication to the industry and the broader economic impacts of introducing secondary trading of slots as under current regulation, there are no effective mechanisms to maximise the efficiencies in the slot allocation system and there is no official mechanism for trading slots with other airlines. The views of airport slot co-ordinators and other key airline industry representatives throughout Europe were gathered through in-depth interviews which addressed key issues as well as the Commissions four main objectives:

1. to ensure mobility of slots and efficient transport for passengers and cargo

2. to strengthen competition at community airports

3. to match secondary trading with overall EU air transport policy

4. to ensure compatibility of secondary slot trading with worldwide procedures

In addition, the research team investigated the impact on transparency and neutrality of any new approach that may be adopted and recommended safeguards to help ensure that any potential disadvantages, for instance to peripheral areas and their vital regional links, could be minimised.

Laurie Price, Mott MacDonald’s Director of Aviation Strategy said, "We were delighted to help the EU Commission with this important study into the development of EU airport policy. Increasing delay and congestion at airports is a critical issue for Europe and we found that the industry responded positively to our approach and enquiries. Our wide ranging industry and consultancy experience helped us to gather the opinions of key representatives and we are confident that this study will help EU policy to move forward positively."


*Mott MacDonald would like to thank Hugh O' Donovan, aviation barrister, Oxera and regulatory specialists Keith Boyfield Associates for assistance with this project.

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