DOTr to impose tougher sanctions on airlines misusing airport slots
MANILA, Philippines — Airline operators at Ninoy Aquino International Airport found misusing their airport slots will face tougher sanctions, the Department of Transportation said Thursday.
In a statement, the DOTr said transport authorities signed joint memorandum circular 2019-01 which expanded the definition of “slot misuse” in a bid to help decongest NAIA.
DOTr said “holding of slots that the airline does not intend to operate, as well as the holding of slots for an operation other than planned for the purpose of denying capacity to another aircraft operator” constitute slot misuse.
The DOTr also said “requisition of new slots that the airline does not intend to operate, and the requisition of slots for an operation other than indicated with the intention of gaining improved priority” are also considered slot misuse.
Stringent sanctions will be imposed “to provide teeth in the implementation of efficient slot utilization,” DOTr said, adding that a timeslot committee will review the findings of the “slot coordinator” — who will initiate any disciplinary action against an airline that intentionally misuses its allocated slots.
“An airline that operates services without the corresponding timeslots, on a regular basis, will not be entitled to historical precedence for either the actual times they operated or for the allocated times,” the Transportation department said.
“Further, an airline that continues to misuse or inefficiently use timeslots may be relegated to a lower priority in future slot allocations,” it added.
“If an airline, despite being sanctioned, continues to misuse or inefficiently use timeslots, the [timeslot committee] shall have the authority to recall slot approval and/or suspend or cancel slot allocations of the erring airline,” it continued.
According to DOTr, NAIA passenger traffic stood at 36.5 million before. The figure swelled to 45 million in 2018, up 23.08% (8.4 million passengers).
During the same period, the number of flights also grew by over 14,000 (5.75%). Consequently, airport slots per hour increased by 22.2% from 36 to 44.
“Landing on an airport is a privilege. To intentionally disregard the value of these airport slots is unethical, and an aggravation to the current state of congestion at NAIA. We have to recognize the domino effects of these slot misuses, which ultimately result in the massive inconvenience to our air passengers,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said. — Ian Nicolas Cigaral