Airline companies to face stiffer penalties for slot misuse — DOTr
MANILA, Philippines — Airline operators that misuse their allocated slots at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) are set to face stiffer sanctions, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Thursday after transport officials signed a memorandum seeking for the efficient utilitization of airport slots to help decongest the country’s busiest airport.
Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Jim Sydiongco and Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla signed Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2019-01.
An airport slot is a permission given to an airline to use the full range of airport infrastructure for a plane to arrive or depart on a specific date and time.
The circular expanded the definition of “slot misuse” to cover the holding of slots that the airline does not intend to operate and the holding of slots for an operation other than planned, resulting to the denying of capacity to another aircraft operator.
Slot misuse also include the “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,” the DOTr said.
The department added that stricter sanctions will be imposed to give “teeth” in the implementation of efficient slot utilization.
A Timeslot Committee will review the slot coordinator’s findings of the slot monitoring performance of airlines. The coordinator is likewise, tasked to initiate any disciplinary action against an airline that “intentionally misuses” its allocated slots, the circular stated.
Under the JMC, an airline that operates 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.
Further, the continued misuse or inefficiently use of timeslots will cause the airline to be relegated to a lower priority in future slot allocations.
The said committee will also have the authority to recall slot approval or suspend or cancel slot allocations of airlines that continue to misuse their slots despite being sanctioned.
“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,” Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a statement.
The transport department said it observed a “substantial” increase in the number of passengers, flights, and airport slots per hour at Naia in recent years, which lead to congestion.
Before 2016, the DOTr noted that passenger traffic in the airport is at 36.5 million a year. The number increased by 23.08 percent to 45 million in 2018.
During the same period, the number of flights also increased by over 14,000 and airport slots per hour increased by 22.2 percent from 36 to 44.
The DOTr said the JMC 2019-01 expands the scope of efficient use of slots under JMC 2016-01 signed by the same agencies in July 2016 to ease airline congestion in Naia. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
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