Economic Perspectives on the Problem of Slot Allocation
Worldwide airline passenger numbers have more than doubled in the last 20 years, whilst air cargo volume has increased by some 300 per cent. In the EU, growth has been similarly remarkable, with passenger numbers increasing by more than 250 per cent from 74,000 million passenger kms in 1980 to 280,000 million passenger kms in 2002 (European Commission, 2004). This growth in demand has, necessarily, been accompanied by a range of supply-side changes, most notably the increased use of larger aircraft and, with the growth in the number of services offered and the development of ‘hubbing’, increases in the number of aircraft movements. In fact, the number of take-offs and landings have increased from 6,811,000 in 1998 to 7,444,000 in 2003 in total for the top 30 EU airports (European Commission, 2004). Table 3.1 illustrates the EU airports with the fastest growth in aircraft movements over recent years. It can be seen, for example, that Milan Malpensa airport encountered major growth during this period as aircraft movements increased by 182.1 per cent.