Airports running out space

Los Angeles, USA - February 22, 2016: United Airlines airplanes at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the USA. United Airlines is an American airline headquartered in Chicago.
Photo credit: Getty

An aviation trade association has warned an increasing number of airports globally are running out of space. 

The IATA (International Air Transport Association) said this summer 204 airports have been designated as level three fully coordinated airports, Travel Weekly reported. 

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This means these airports dont have the capacity to handle all the flights that commercial, cargo and other operators airlines would like to provide. 

The IATA said at its annual general meeting in Sydney this month that this figure is a jump from 160 level three slot-coordinated airports in 2012 and 189 in November last year. 

The problem is only set to get worse with the IATA projecting that the annual number of worldwide travellers will double in the next 20 years from 2017's figure of 4.1 billion.

"This is a significant problem for the industry: reducing flexibility, disabling the ability to meet passenger demand without serious constraints and nonoptimal flight schedules to fit in with available capacity," Lara Maughan, IATA's head of worldwide airport slots, wrote on the issue last December.

"Unfortunately, it also means actual passenger demand will be incredibly hard to serve when there is less than optimal access to the market."

Airlines that fly from level three airports must be awarded a "slot" five months before the peak flying seasons of summer and winter, Travel Weekly said. 

More than half the world's slot coordinated airports are in Europe with New York's JFK International Airport being the only one in the United States. 

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