The current allocation of slots on congested European airports constitutes an obstacle to the effective liberalisation of air transportation undertaken in Europe. With a view to favouring efficient slot utilisation and competition, as is the goal of the European commission, we propose to use a market mechanism, based on temporary utilisation licences. In order to allocate those licences, we propose and describe an iterated combinatorial auction mechanism where a percentage of licences would be reallocated each season. A secondary market would also be set up in order to reallocate slots during a season. Since a combinatorial auction involve a complex optimisation procedure, we describe how it can be made to work in the case of auctions.
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