What is Slot Allocation?

A slot is the permission given by the coordinator for an aircraft to arrive or depart at a coordinated airport at a particular time on a particular day.

The process of slot allocation is designed to achieve the maximum utilisation of scarce airport capacity within an acceptable level of delay.

Who are ACL?

Airport Coordination Limited (ACL) is an independent organisation which provides data collection, schedules facilitation and slot allocation services at UK airports and elsewhere, in accordance with applicable Slot Regulations and the IATA Worldwide Scheduling Guidelines.

ACL was the world’s first independent organisation responsible for slot allocation and its business model, organisation and structure has been copied by many other newly-formed coordination agencies in Europe and Worldwide.

ACL is a private body carrying out a public function. It contributes to the debate on issues of national policy, within the scope of its responsibilities, and it is called upon from time to time to submit its views on aviation policy issues and to participate in consultation procedures.

Which airports are currently served by ACL?

ACL currently provides services at the following airports:

1. ABZ Aberdeen – Facilitated (Level 2)
2. BHD Belfast City – Facilitated (Level 2)
3. BFS Belfast International – Facilitated (Level 2)
4. BHX Birmingham – Coordinated (Level 3)
5. BOH Bournemouth – Data Collection (Level 1)
6. BRS Bristol International – Facilitated (Level 2- Winter and Summer, day only)
Coordinated (Level 3- Summer, night only)
7. CWL Cardiff – Data Collection (Level 1)
8. NWI Norwich – Data Collection (Level 1)
9. EDI Edinburgh – Facilitated (Level 2)
10. EMA East Midlands Airport – Facilitated (Level 2)
11. EXT Exeter – Data Collection (Level 1)
12. GLA Glasgow – Facilitated (Level 2)
13. JER Jersey – Facilitated (Level 2)
14. LBA Leeds Bradford –  Facilitated (Level 2)
15. LCY London City – Coordinated (Level 3)
16. LGW London Gatwick – Coordinated (Level 3)
17. LHR London Heathrow – Coordinated (Level 3)
18. LPL Liverpool –  Facilitated (Level 2)
19. LTN London Luton – Coordinated airport (Level 3)
20. MAN Manchester – Coordinated (Level 3)
21. MME Teesside International – Data Collection (Level 1)
22. NCL Newcastle – Facilitated (Level 2)
23. SEN London Southend – Facilitated (Level 1)
24. SOU Southampton – Facilitated (Level 2)
25. STN London Stansted – Coordinated  (Level 3)
26. YTZ Billy Bishop Toronto City – Coordinated (Level 3)
27. DUB Dublin – Coordinated (Level 3)
28. ORK Cork – Data Collection (Level 1)
29. SNN Shannon – Data Collection (Level 1)
New Zealand
30. AKL Auckland International – Coordinated (Level 3)
31. CHC Christchurch International – Coordinated (Level 3)
32. WLG Wellington International – Coordinated (Level 3)
33. ZQN Queenstown International – Coordinated (Level 3)
34. DUD Dunedin – Data Collection (Level 1)
35. WAW Warsaw – Coordinated (Level 3)
36. POZ Poznan – Data Collection (Level 1), Coordinated Summer only (Level 3)
37. DXB Dubai International – Coordinated (Level 3)
38. DWC Al Maktoum International – Facilitated (Level 3)
39. AUH Abu Dhabi International – Facilitated (Level 2)
40. LUX Luxembourg Findel Airport (Level 2)
41. RIX Riga International Airport (Level 1)
42. MCT Muscat International Airport (Level 2)
43. DQM Duqm Airport (Level 1)
44. OMM Marmul Airport (Level 1)
45. RNM Qarn Alam Airport (Level 1)
46. SLL Salalah Airport (Level 1)
47. OHS Suhar Airport (Level 1)
Grand Cayman
48. GCM Owen Roberts International Airport (Level 2)
Saudi Arabia
49. HOF Al-Hofuf, Al Ahsa (Level 2)
50. YNB Yanbu (Level 2)
51. AHB Abha (Level 2)
52. ABT Al Bahah (Al-Baha) (Level 1)
53. EJH Al Wajh (Level 1)
54. ULH Al-Ula (Level 1)
55. AJF Al-Jawf (Level 2)
56. RAE Arar (Level 1)
75. BHH Bisha (Level 1)
58. ELQ Buraidah (Level 2)
59. DWD Dawadmi (Level 1)
60. URY Gurayat (Qurayyat) (Level 1)
61. HAS Ha’il (Level 2)
62. GIZ Jizan (Gizan) (Level 2)
63. EAM Najran (Level 1)
64. NUM Neom Bay (Level 1)
65. AQI Qaisumah, Hafar Al-Batin (Level 1)
66. RAH Rafha (Level 1)
67. SHW Sharurah (Level 1)
68. TUU Tabuk (Level 2)
69. TIF Ta’if (Level 2)
70. TUI Turaif (Level 1)
71. WAE Wadi al-Dawasir (Level 1)
72. DMM Dammam (Level 3)
73. JED Jeddah (Level 3)
74. RUH Riyadh (Level 3)

Who are the members of ACL?

The current members of ACL are:

  • British Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic Airways
  • TUI Airways
  • EasyJet
  • Jet2

What is the relationship between ACL and the Airport Operators?

ACL is appointed by the appropriate authority to provide slot allocation, a schedules facilitation service, or a data collection service, under a service contract.

The airports pay an annual fee to ACL for these services, which include the supply by ACL of schedule data, gathered from airlines, which is passed as a data feed each night to the airports.

What benefits do ACL’s airline Members receive for their financial contribution to ACL?

No Member airline receives any preferential treatment in slot allocation decisions made by the Coordinators in ACL.

All airlines are treated equally, in accordance with applicable Slot Regulations, which ensure that decisions made by ACL are made in a ‘neutral, transparent and non-discriminatory way’.

Members believe that it is reasonable for them to contribute to the cost of slot allocation in the UK, since the cost of the coordination task in other countries is borne by their Governments or national carriers.

Having airlines contributing toward the cost of ACL avoids the need for any Government intervention or control of slot allocation system, and ensures that all the airlines receive a high quality coordination service.

Since ACL is owned by UK airlines, isn’t it true that UK airlines will get priority over slots?

ACL’s Member airlines have no involvement in slot allocation decisions.

ACL act independently in making their slot allocation decisions at the airports for which they are responsible.

The slot allocation decisions made by the ACL Coordinators are transparent and open to scrutiny by any airline as well as by the airports and Regulators.

The Coordinators have a legal duty of neutrality and non-discrimination between carriers and are responsible for giving fair and equal treatment to scheduled/charter, international/domestic, long-haul/short-haul and UK/overseas carriers alike.

How does ACL protect Board independence?

We ensure the independence of the ACL Board by having in place full corporate governance provisions for any conflict of interest and by having three fully independent Non-Executive directors.  These are our Chair person, Lesley Cowley OBE, Ailsa Beaton OBE (formerly holding senior executive roles at London’s Metropolitan Police Service, General Electric, PA Consulting and ICL) and Valerie Gordon-Walker (who has held executive positions at Barclays, BP, West LB and Marks & Spencer).  We also have two full time directors who are employees of ACL – Neil Garwood, our CEO, and Jo Clarke, our finance director.  This structure ensures that the Board can be quorate just with independent directors.