Air Transport World

Slot: more than a four letter word. (air traffic control ) (editorial)

Slot: More than a four-letter word

From recent discussions with airline officials it became obvious that the word "slot' is not clearly defined as it pertains to capacity control applications at some high-density airports in the U.S., thus prompting an informal look by this column into the question, "What is a slot?'

Webster's definition shows it to be a noun derived from the French word "esclot.' One of its several meanings lists it as "a narrow notch, groove or opening as a keyway in a piece of machinery such as a slit for inserting a coin in a vending machine.'

In the design and engineering departments of the aerospace industry a slot is "a nozzle-shaped passage through the wing of an airplane near the leading edge, formed by a main and auxiliary airfoil, designed to minimize drag. …

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