IATA has announced the new three-year term of the Slot Policy Working Group (SPWG), with a hugely diverse representation of airline business models from all regions, including non-IATA members.

The slot process impacts all carriers in all regions, and thus it is vital the SPWG represents the breadth and depth of the industry The slot process underpins the airline business because it provides certainty and consistency for airlines to plan, sell and operate flights efficiently. One of the tasks of the SPWG is to monitor divergence from the Worldwide Airport Slot Guidelines (WASG) that could disrupt consistent policy and harm the planning process. It is also to agree on the priority topics and themes that need attention.

The members of the SPWG provide IATA with guidance on all the industry’s activities related to slots. The group works with the Industry Affairs Advisory Council in IATA, informing on current developments and strategy. Their input can include technical matters such as Standard Schedules Information Manual (SSIM) changes and their interplay with WASG policies, strategic ideas for slot policy development, drafting best practices for the industry and more operational matters like managing COVID and advising IATA’s advocacy position related to such a crisis. SPWG members are the eyes, ears, and expert voice that support IATA’s direction on slots. They are also responsible for regional updates to the group, sometimes supported by regional focus groups to ensure other carriers’ views can be represented.

The next three years will be especially busy as regulators start to review regulation and policy in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. The group’s priorities are underpinned by developments externally and the direction and change airlines feel is necessary to best support the sector.

The following gives a flavour of the topics the SPWG is working on:

Athens International Airport
  • Series Length policy
  • Data sharing and information availability
  • Justified non use of slots and pre-HBD slot return policy
  • Regional slot focus groups

The SPWG is also representing carriers on the Worldwide Airport Slot Board which is also entering its second term of three years. The airline members of WASB are selected from SPWG nominations.



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