Slot coordination and schedules facilitation

Published on Wednesday 3 March 2021

Many European airports experience variable periods of congestion over the year, day or hour. The very high density of European air traffic has triggered the need to ensure a more optimal and efficient use of airports capacity within the European Union. An issue the Council regulation (EEC) n°95/93 aims to address by establishing the principles of the « slot coordination mechanism » that regulate the airlines’ flights schedules.

This mechanism relies on the allocation to air carriers of « permission[s] […] to use the full range of airport infrastructure necessary to operate an air service at a coordinated airport on a specific date and time for the purpose of landing or take-off », named « slots ». Slot allocation is achieved through neutral, transparent and non-discriminatory rules implemented by an independant entity appointed by each Member State called a « coordinator ».

For EU airports where potential for congestion is concentrated on very specific time windows and amenable to resolution through voluntary cooperation between air carriers, the Council regulation (EEC) n°95/93 offers a lighter mecanism named « schedules facilitation ». A schedules facilitator is therefore appointed to facilitate the operations of air carriers by recommanding them relevant times to operate their air services.

Before designating an airport as coordinated, the Member State shall ensure that a thorough analysis on the airport capacity has been carried out. This analysis may also be requested by the European Commission or the airport operator managing body or by air carriers representing more than half of the operations at the airport.
In that context, the Member State shall determine « coordination or schedules facilitation parameters ». These are metrics defining the airport capacity limits through maximum numbers of slots that may be allocated.

French airports concerned

French coordinated airports :

  • Paris-Orly and Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle airports
  • Nice-Côte d’Azur airport

  • Lyon-Saint-Exupéry airport
  • Cannes-Mandelieu airport

French schedules facilitated airports

  • Annecy-Meythet airport
  • Chambéry-Aix-les-Bains airport
  • Aéroport de Nantes-Atlantique
  • Figari-Sud-Corse airport

French appointed coordinator and schedules facilitator

The COHOR association has been appointed to achieve the slot coordination and schedules facilitation tasks on concerned French airports in compliance with Council regulation (EEC) n°95/93 and national requirements also applicable to any would-be coordinator or schedules facilitator designated on a French airport.

 

French airports coordination committee (Comité de coordination des aéroports français - CCAF)

Interested parties (air carriers using the plateform, managing bodies of the concerned airports, concerned Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP)) take part in a coordination committee mainly tasked « to make proposals or advise the coordinator and/or the Member State » on how to improve capacity at concerned airports and « to mediate between all parties concerned ».

Created in compliance with article 5 of the Council regulation (EEC) n°95/93, the « French coordination committee (– Comité de coordination des aéroports français – CCAF –) » may achieve these tasks itself or through executive committees created within the CCAF.

The Ministerial Order of September 28, 2004 sets the coordination committee composition, tasks and running rules.

Executive committees

Five executives committees have been created within the French airports coordination committee (CCAF) to address local capacity issues on the following airports:

  • Paris-Orly and Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle
  • Lyon-Saint-Exupéry, Chambéry - Aix-les-Bains and Annecy-Meythet
  • Nice-Côte d’Azur and Cannes-Mandelieu
  • Figari-Sud-Corse
  • Nantes-Atlantique

CCAF plenary assemblies

The French Airports Coordination Committee (CCAF) meets annually in plenary assemblies. The last CCAF plenary assembly was held on :

Tuesday, January 12th 2021
from 9.30 am to 12 am by teleconference

This meeting provided, among other things, CCAF's advice on COHOR's proposal for a coordination and facilitation fee and a point on the impact of the pandemic on airport coordination.

List of Executive Committees for Coordinated and Facilitated Airports:

  • Paris-Orly et Paris-Charles de Gaulle,
  • Lyon-Saint-Exupéry, Chambéry - Aix-les-Bains and Annecy-Meythet
  • Nice-Côte d’Azur et Cannes-Mandelieu
  • Figari-Sud-Corse
  • Nantes-Atlantique

Participants are encouraged to notify the CCAF Secretariat at ccaf@aviation-civile.gouv.fr of their attendance at the next plenary meeting.

The new composition of the Executive Committees for coordinated and facilitated airports and the Sub-Committee in charge of monitoring the use of slots was established by ministerial order following the last CCAF meeting :

We recall that the missions of the Executive Committees created are specified in article 6 of the decree of September, 28th 2004 :

For further information, the rules of procedure detailing the functioning of the CCAF are available below.

The last four plenary assemblies’ reports are available underneath :

Sanctions for infringements to slot regulation requirements

Sanctions framework

A framework defining sanctions for the inappropriate use of an allocated slot has been established in the French national regulation in compliance with article 14(5) of the Council regulation (EEC) n°95/93.

Sanctions take the form of administrative penalties, their amount can rise up to 40,000 € per infringement.

Generally, sanctions for such infringements are pronounced by the French Minister in charge of Civil Aviation who relies on advice from the French Civil Aviation administrative commission (– Commission administrative de l’aviation civile – CAAC –). Articles R. 160-1 to 15 of the French Civil aviation code sets the sanctions framework running in this general case.

For take-offs operated at Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle airport between 00:00 and 04:59 (local hours) without an appropriate allocated slot, sanctions are pronounced by the Airport Pollution Control Authority (– Autorité de contrôle des nuisances aéroportuaires – ACNUSA –) in compliance with articles L. 6361-1 to 15 of the French transports code and the applicable environmental regulation.

In order to avoid such sanctions, air carriers are invited to ensure that their slot request has been properly sent and received for each flight departing from or arriving at a French coordinated airport -even for last minute launched flights-.

 

Sanctions pronounced by the French Minister in charge of Civil Aviation

In compliance with articles R. 160-1 to 15 of the French civil aviation code, the Minister in charge of civil aviation imposes, through administrative penalties, sanctions to air carriers that :

  • operated air services without an appropriate allocated slot;
  • repeatedly and intentionally operated air services at a time significantly different from the allocated slot or with the use of the allocated slot in a significantly different way from that indicated at the time of allocation.

The identified infringements are notified to each air carrier by the French Civil Aviation (– Direction générale de l’aviation civile – DGAC –).

According to the observations provided to the DGAC, the air carrier may be heard by the French Civil Aviation administrative commission (– Commission administrative de l’aviation civile – CAAC –) which subsequently advises the Minister on the penalty amount for each infringement.

The amount of the corresponding administrative penalties can rise up to 7,500 € per infringement and 15,000€ in the case of repeat offences.

 
Date of the decision IATA scheduling season Air carrier Number of infringements Type of infringement Amount of the administrative fine
February 16, 2018 Summer 2016 Transavia France 28 Flight operated without a slot 53,500 €
February 16, 2018 Summer 2015 & Winter 2015/2016 & Summer 2016 ASL Airlines France

15
6 (summer 2015) & 2 (winter 15/16) & 7 (summer 2016)

Flight operated without a slot 31,500 €
February 16, 2018

Summer 2015 &
Summer 2016

Cityjet

6
5 (summer 2015) & 1 (summer 2016)

Flight operated without a slot 12,000 €
February 16, 2018 Summer 2016 Transportes Aeros de Cabo Verde 6 Flight operated without a slot 9,000 €
February 16, 2018 Summer 2016 Vueling Airlines 5 Flight operated without a slot 9,000 €
May 15, 2018 Summer 2016 & Winter 2016/2017 Air Austral

6
4 (summer 2016) & 2 (winter 2016/2017)

Flight operated without a slot 9,000 €
May 15, 2018 Winter 2016/2017 Air Caraïbes International 5 Flight operated without a slot 15,000 €
May 15, 2018 Winter 2016/2017 Asl Airlines France 9 Flight operated without a slot 15,000 €
May 15, 2018 Winter 2016/2017 Royal Air Maroc 7 Flight operated without a slot 21,000 €
December 4, 2018 Summer 2017 Air Algérie 2 Flight operated without a slot 2 000€
December 4, 2018 Summer 2017 ASL Airlines France 8 Flight operated without a slot 9 750€
December 4, 2018 Summer 2017 Ethiopian Airlines 17 Flight operated without a slot 51 000€
December 4, 2018 Summer 2017 Transavia France 8 Flight operated without a slot 11 000€
July 20, 2020 Winter 2017/2018 & Summer 2018 Air Caraïbes

13
7 (winter 2017/2018) & 6 (summer 2018)

Flight operated without a slot 29,500 €
July 20, 2020 Winter 2017/2018 & Summer 2018 Air France

17
7 (winter 2017/2018) & 10 (summer 2018)

Flight operated without a slot 45,500 €
July 20, 2020 Winter 2017/2018 Norwegian 3 Flight operated without a slot 12,000 €
July 20, 2020 Summer 2018 Vueling Airlines 11 Flight operated without a slot 28,500 €

 

Sanctions pronounced by the ACNUSA

Take-offs operated without an appropriate departure slot between 00:00 and 04:59 (local time) at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport constitute a specific infringement for which, in compliance with the environmental regulation (mentioned below), the Airport Pollution Control Authority (– Autorité de contrôle des nuisances aéroportuaires – ACNUSA –) is empowered to sanction the air carrier operating the flight.

Sanctions are imposed as administrative penalties, their amount can rise up to 40,000 € per infringement.

 

More information about the ACNUSA on:

Slot coordination or schedules facilitation service fee for French airports

The Decree n° 2017-60 of January 23, 2017 introduces a new regulatory framework in order to finance by a slot coordination or schedules facilitation fee the services provided by the appointed airport coordinator on French coordinated and schedules facilitated airports. It supersedes the coordinator’s former funding system which was relying on voluntary subscriptions paid by the 10 main French air carriers and the three managing bodies of the  coordinated airports.

The fee covers material and labour costs arising from slot coordination or schedules facilitation tasks assigned to the appointed coordinator or schedules facilitator by the French minister in charge of civil aviation. Any other activities of the coordinator or schedules facilitator are not covered by this fee.

The Decree adds 3 articles (R. 221-13 to 15) to the French Civil Aviation Code setting up two implementation cases; the main one concerns all French airports which are usually schedules facilitated or coordinated while the derogation one deals with those airports that are schedule facilitated or coordinated on « exceptional circumstances » as described in article 3(6) of the Council regulation (EEC) n°95/93.

In the main case:

  • the airport managing body and the air carrier operating at that airport equally share the cost recovery through the payment of the same slot service fee per landing;
  • the air carriers’ share is collected by the airport managing body on behalf of the coordinator or schedules facilitator;
  • the level of the slot service fee is set by the minister in charge of civil aviation: the French coordination committee advises the minister on a tariff proposal made by the appointed coordinator or schedules facilitator. Should the committee agree with the proposal, the proposed slot service fee is then approved as proposed by the minister.

The derogation case applies to situations for which the traffic is unpredictable (as for sports special events for instance). In such situations, it is difficult to accurately determine a slot service fee which would cover all these costs so the main case framework cannot be applied. Therefore in « exceptional circumstances » as described in article 3(6) of the Council regulation (EEC) n°95/93:

  • the global cost to be covered for the associated slot coordination or schedules facilitation services is determined by the minister in charge of civil aviation on the basis of a proposal made by the appointed coordinator or the schedules facilitator;
  • the air carriers operating on that airport during this exceptional circumstance pay a slot service fee per landing collected by the airport managing body on behalf of the coordinator or schedules facilitator;
  • the concerned airport managing body shall cover the remaining part of the costs which  corresponds to the global service cost as approved by the minister reduced by total amount paid by all air carriers.

4 ministerial orders of February 22, 2017 meet the decree requirements and establish a process (steps, methods and associated deadlines) to determine, publish and enforce the slot service fees.

According to a decision dated January 15, 2018, the following tariffs relating to the charge for the slot coordination or schedules facilitation services rendered on French airports, as proposed by COHOR association, are approved:

1. For French coordinated or schedules facilitated airports respectively listed in appendices I et II of  French ministerial order of February 22, 2017 designating COHOR as the coordinator or schedules facilitator on French airports:

  • 2,10 € per landing for the operating air carrier;
  • 2,10 € per landing for the airport managing body;

2. For airports mentioned in article R. 221-14 of the civil aviation code, designated as coordinated or schedules facilitated airports under exceptional circumstances:

  • 2,10 € per landing for the operating air carrier.

The approved tariffs are enforceable from April 1st, 2018. They shall remain in force until new tariffs are enforceable.

FAQ related to the slot coordination or schedule facilitation service fee

Information leaflet

The following leaflet presents all information published when the regulatory package came into force.

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