Excerpts from Competition and Regulatory Deficit in Civil Aviation Sector in India by Mukesh Kacker (IAS) Director General.
- For airports managed by Airport Authority of India (AAI), the AAI allocates the slots. For private airports not managed by AAI, the slots are allocated by the concerned SPV in coordination with AAI.
- All domestic airlines who want to operate at an airport, file for the landing or take off slots with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the respective airport operators such as AAI, Air Force, Navy and SPV in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Cochin airports.
- The slot requests are analysed vis-à-vis airport capacity parameters viz. runway, apron and terminal building. Based on the analysis, all airport operators either approve the slots in respect of the airports or generate a list of alternate offers. These approved and offered slots are discussed in a meeting where all the airlines, DGCA, BCAS (Bureau of Civil Aviation Security) and airport operators are present. After the meeting, the approved slots are conveyed to DGCA for approval of the flight schedule
- Slots are allocated twice a year, for summer season and winter season, where each season is a period for six months.
- Allocation of slots is based on (i) “Grandfather Rights” and (ii) “Use it or Lose it” rule in case of mergers and acquisitions of domestic airlines.
- Grandfather Rights‟ means slots allocated to a particular carrier in the previous season and which were used to a significant extent, are reverted to the same carrier. This policy accounts for allocation of a large majority of slots, particularly at peak times.
- In the context of mergers, according to the domestic air transport policy, the airline which is merging with or acquiring another airline, is allowed to take control of the airport infrastructure, including slots of the latter.
- Use it or Lose it‟ rule implies that this right will be available with the airline that takes over till such time as the infrastructure/rights are under use. If the concerned infrastructure is not used, the airline will lose the user rights over the infrastructure including the slots.
- As per the slot allocation policy, after allocation of slots on the basis of 'grandfathering' and 'use it or loose it' basis, 50% of the left over slots are allotted to the new airlines. There are no charges for peak and non peak slots in the policy.