Enhanced slot swapping

The Enhanced Slot Swapping process is part of the User Driven Prioritisation process (UDPP), which aims to give more flexibility to airspace users in their operations in the event of capacity constraints in the planning phase, and for congested en-route and arrival areas. It has extended the rules for swapping flights and also set out a Swap Identification Tool to support the decisions made by airspace users.

In the current system, the flight sequence and associated delays are calculated by the Network Manager (NM).

Following a live trial in 2014-2015, the Enhanced Slot Swapping process has progressively been made available to some airspace users under the control of the NM Aircraft Operators Group (NM-AOG). This improved flexibility is being developed in the NM system and all airspace users will have access to it by 2017

Expected benefits

  • The automation tool improves the acceptance rate of requests, with a positive impact for both airspace users and NM;
  • The estimated average cost savings per swap is about €4,600. A progressive increase in slot swapping is expected as more users adopt the practice of prioritising their flights.
  • No investment costs for airspace users are foreseen for the Enhanced Slot Swapping process since there is no need for any specific equipment.

A business case, produced by SESAR for Enhanced Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) Slot Swapping, demonstrated that UDPP could save several hundred million euros over 20 years.


Programme status

Enhanced ATFM Slot Swapping was part of SESAR project 07.06.02. It will be deployed by the Network Manager in 2017.