Overcrowding in the airports is one of the main problems. Airports at some point operate beyond capacity either temporary or permanently. Scarcity of slots is mainly caused by these delays which are the reservations for instrument flight takeoff or aircraft in air transportation or landing by an air carrier, in the airports. The Federal Airport Authority (FAA) controls the distribution of these slots through the High Density Rules (HDR). These rules have further escalated the shortage in slots in the airports. The slots available for assignment to the airlines are constrained by the runway size of the airport, the air traffic facilities available and the number of terminals available in the airport. As the demand continues to rise over the supply of slots available to be allocated to the airlines, the FAA expects the number of flight delays to increase coupled with an increase in safety issues (Young & Wells, 2011).
There are a number of ways this scarcity of slots in the airports can be solved improving the customer service value. One such solution is to allocate the slots through a competitive process. Currently, the slots are allocated through inefficient processes such as lotteries. The airport authorities can reform the process through using auctions where the airlines that will derive the highest value from the slots are allocated. To counter this scarcity of slots, the FAA enacted reforms that exempted some airlines from the HDR slot in 2000. In order to ensure the full potential of the slots to be obtained, the FAA must implement demand management.
On top of deriving maximum utility from the slots, the airports can increase the number. The airports can achieve these by removing the constraining factors. The airports can expand their capacity by improvement of the airport infrastructure. These include improving the runways, air traffic control facilities and the number of terminals available. To authorities, can also demand the use of high capacity aircrafts, charge a fee for arrivals and departures during the high traffic times and auction the slots competitively through methods such as the clock-proxy auction. Through implementing these changes, there will be fewer delays, safety to the customers, competitiveness between the airlines and higher revenue generation (Hazel & National Research Council 2011).