Gatwick Airport CEO wants normal slot rules restored next summer

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FILE PHOTO: General view of an entrance to the check-in area at Gatwick Airport, in Gatwick

GATWICK AIRPORT, England (Reuters) - Gatwick Airport, Britain's second-biggest aviation hub, wants to see normal airport slot rules restored by next summer, Chief Executive Stewart Wingate said on Friday.

Global aviation heavyweights led by airline body IATA are pushing for airport slot relief to continue until October 2021.

Under their proposal the "use it or lose it" principle would be restored for airport slots, but the utilisation rate required to keep them would be set at 50%, compared to the 80% threshold that governed slot use before the pandemic.

Gatwick's CEO called the IATA proposal "a step in the right direction" but said he wanted a return to normal rules so that competition can resume and consumers benefit from a greater choice of flights.

"From a slot waiver perspective, what normally happens is that airlines are expected to fly their slots 80% of the time or lose them," Wingate told Reuters in an interview.

"So at the earliest opportunity, preferably next summer, certainly next winter, we'd like to see that reinstituted," he said.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Laurence Frost)