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Author Topic: Slots - the final solution  (Read 4430 times)

Offline Sami

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Slots - the final solution
« on: October 08, 2013, 07:40:31 PM »
Again with the start of a new large game world I get lots of messages about slots. Many are wondering how player x gets all the slots and how he is able to use them, and sometimes even two players from the same airport suspect both individually that the other one of doing something against the rules  ;D

So far in MT#9 no fines have been issued, but I think all agree that the reloading/first see-first get system is not optimal here, and this has been already talked in the past too. And in the long term I would like to create something in the way of used market calls, as it pretty much fixed the reloading play style there (though the um. calls needs some fixes still). In other words I would like to develp slot system so that all players know when slots will become available, and all interested players have the opportunity to bid for them if they want them.

There are threads of this but pls use this thread to discuss of the "final solution" to slot allocation.

Start situation would be that airport is slot allocation controlled or not. Major airports and those who have very few slots available will be in controlled status, and those with constantly lots of slots will stay like they are now. This status can change, and it then determines if the slots are pre-bidded or not. And any future demand models and airport expansions will support this basic idea too.

How the bidding would work then.. This is the tricky part, as it would need to be very easy for players. And I'd like to hear some ideas. Not necesarily a bidding system but some allocation form that allows a) local and other airlines to share any new slots, b) removes the need to watch the slot appearances all the time and c) allocates slots fairly and completely disables possibilities of hogging all (or most) slots that appear.

Though have to keep n mind that slot problems mainly concern start of a new game world and only handful of airports.

brique

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2013, 08:22:27 PM »
I'll throw in this idea : no limits on slots an airline can buy at any airport.

Okay, make that the start point, then ask how to limit them to a realistic amount : and the tool is already there, partly : as you buy more slots, you pay an exponentially higher price for each : tie this to each airline in the base : the more one airline buys, the even higher the price for that airline : eventually, slot cost would become uneconomic, the route could never pay back the cost : ergo, there is the limit. Its dynamic as it is effectively controlled by what demand remains to generate the revenue to pay for it. And there would be no point buying uneconomic slots to 'slot-hog' as it will not stop competition buying them anyway.
 
Just tweak the slot price algorithm to do the job : no messing with auctions, being online 24/7 waiting, etc, etc ; and it lets competition in, until they grow to hit their economic limit and thus we end slot-hogging, squeezing out potential competition and monopoly-controlled airports : it cant make decent coffee though... its not a miracle solution...

Offline LemonButt

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2013, 11:32:58 PM »
The elephant in the room is Heathrow obviously.  Heathrow never has slots and the players based at Heathrow essentially enjoy zero competition on their flights because it is nearly impossible to get slots there to compete against them.  Right now in DOTM there are four airlines based at LHR with the following slot allocation:

6% WhyFly
32% Aston Airways
32% British Air Transport
11% British Skyline

This means that 80% of the slots at LHR are used by airlines based there and only 20% are used by airlines that aren't.  It is no secret that the airline with the highest CV is nearly ALWAYS at Heathrow because they basically have zero competition on their routes due to the fact it is impossible to compete against them.  So what is a guy to do?

In business, there are no solutions--only trade offs.  It's all about opportunity cost and economics is the study of how people and companies utilize their scarce resources.  The problem here is that there are zero resources.

The first problem is competition.  How do we give those based at LHR competition?  That's an easy one.  Get rid of the slot requirement for return flights.  Those airlines at Heathrow can have 100% of the slots because other airlines don't have to coordinate slots.  But this is unrealistic you say.  AWS is already unrealistic because IRL you have to have not only departure slots, but arrival/landing slots also which isn't modeled and would make things ridiculously complicated.

So now the players at Heathrow have 100% of the slots and are facing what seems to be infinite competition.  Now the fun begins.  Airlines at Heathrow have to determine how to best utilize their finite slots to fend off infinite competition.  But then the issue is you'll have one or two airlines hogging all the slots because they are still finite.  This is where the second part of the equation comes in: terminals.

IRL airports have terminals dedicated to specific airlines.  JFK has the jetBlue Terminal which is TWA's old World Port.  This makes it easy for jetBlue employees to go from gate to gate, passengers to transfer, etc.  You typically have an "everyone else" terminal for all the non-based airlines with gates/counters that are rented by the hour.  So the solution is you give everyone a terminal.

In assigning terminals, players then get a fixed number of slots across all hours.  What is a slot really?  It isn't space on the runway--it's space at the terminal (ok, it's also space on the runway, but you get the point).  To make things even more dynamic, you give players specific slot groupings based on aircraft size.  ORD, for example, have gates with no jetways that serve regional jets and require passengers to walk on the tarmac.  So if you're based at ORD, lets say you have a terminal with 15 slots per hour across all hours with 5 of them restricted to small/medium aircraft and 10 of them restricted to medium/large/very large aircraft.

In order to grow beyond the 15 slots, airlines can spend money to upgrade their terminals.  They can upgrade the small/medium gates to accept larger aircraft, thus increasing their larger slot capacity, or they can simply add more gates to their terminal.

This also helps airlines when it comes to bases.  Let's say you're based at a secondary airport like Chicago Midway.  If you're HQ'd there you get a terminal with 10 slots/hour that you can expand.  If you are HQ'd elsewhere and open a base, you get 5 slots/hour to start unless you invest the money to increase capacity.  This keeps the big airlines from decimating the smaller ones when they open new bases.

The "terminal strategy" where you only have to allocate take off slots is more challenging IMO because you have to start making real decisions based on opportunity cost and managing your airline's home base.  Instead of having a huge slot pool that everyone has access to and grows over time, you have a small exclusive slot pool that you can micromanage and upgrade.  You have to make decisions such as do I fly small/medium aircraft with my small/medium slots or wait it out and upgrade them, flying larger aircraft using those slots.  This also opens the doors for further specialization for airlines, such as a VIP lounge.  You shouldn't be able to achieve a company image of 100 without one in every hub you operate.

So in the end, LHR will have infinite competition in theory, but the competition they're facing also has finite resources that they have to consider.  If an LHR airline has LHR-CDG filled with 100% capacity, for example, the CDG airline needs to decide if it is better to get 50% of the pax and compete on the route or use those slots to fly elsewhere.  The terminal strategy also prevents "frequency bombing".

Using the existing data, we could create a benchmark for what total slots should be.  So if the slots at LHR should be 40/hour for example and total slots used are 50, then expanding your terminal will be very expensive.  If slots should be 40/hour and only 20 are being used, then expanding will be very cheap.  When you add in connecting pax to be modeled in the future, airport selection will become extremely important based on more than just local population.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2013, 10:57:42 PM by LemonButt »

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2013, 01:17:13 AM »
The biggest problem with both slots and the UM is that it encourages people to pool their calls, that there is a large advantage to be had by being online at the right time, and that airlines will hold planes or slots for their friends to get them.

Ideally, there would be much less randomness, and there would be much less incentive to hold things for others. The obvious way to do that is to not make planes/slots immediately available to everyone.

So, in slot controlled airports, the way to do it would be:

At the start of the world, make some number (say 20% of default, or 6/hr, something like that) available to the outside world. For airlines HQed in an airport, they each have access to their own 1 slot/hr. For the first 6 months, that is all that is available. 1 slot/hr, 16 hour day gives 112 slots for the week, that's enough for 21 LH planes, more than enough to get your airline up & running, and profitable.

So, after 6 months, that'll be ~12 slots/hr in use, 50% outside. Can see a couple of ways to do things after that. First, have all slots disappear from public view at that point, and have people put in requests. Think that'll be cumbersome, hard to do an algorithm for. (Think it'd be very good for the used market, that once a week, an airline can request 3 planes of whatever type, and every monday the brokers would allocate planes to airlines. Doesn't mean you get the 3 you want, if there are 200 requests for an a330, there might be 50 offered at a very large markup, if there are only 5 airlines requesting 3 747s each, then all of them would be handed out. Would remove much of the luck aspect, would remove the endless wait for fleets with only a very small number in storage to appear, etc.)

Second option, which would likely be easier to work with, would be basically like LemonButt's idea of terminals. After 6 months, all HQed airlines go up to 2 slots/hr. After 12 months, up to 4/hr. 18 months, 6/hr. And after that, if an airline wants more, they'd need to pay for an upgrade. Slots for outside airlines could stay at double the average size of HQed airlines (so after 18 months, 12/hr), and can't grow past some number no matter how bg the HQed terminals get, say 50% of 2010 default slots, so ~20/hr for LHR/FRA/AMS, 40/hr for ATL/ORD. Biggest benefit to this is it would allow airlines to actually start in an airport mid-game, which is very important for long gameworlds. Current JA, think there were only 3 day 1 LHR airlines, and only 1 of them serious. So by the time others got into the world, it was too late to be able to start there. In fact, after a year, AMS was the only one of the top dozen or so airports to have space for a newcomer. This way, if someone has BKed, their 'terminal' is empty, and so anybody can start a new airline or open a base, and be guaranteed of at least 6 slots/hr to get them up & running. Slot costs would be the same as now, but instead of using how full the airport is overall, it would use how full your own section of it is, so the costs to buy slots would stay roughly the same as now.

Also, on the first monday of each year, or just on Jan 8 if that's easier, all airlines would have to pay some amount for every one of their slots in controlled airports.

We'd have more sustained competition, we'd remove the ability to squeeze airlines out, or prevent their expansion, with slot hogging, there'd be a lot more viable airports for people 5 years into a game. Balancing the costs associated with expanding your terminal ould be the biggest challenge, to make it actually be a considered decision to open up, without it being so big as to be impossible (at least to start with, if it increases to impossible levels when you have 30 slots/hr yourself, then fair enough) or so small as to be trivial (as current slot costs are after you get beyond that initial expansion period).

Offline LemonButt

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2013, 01:31:08 AM »
Sanabas brings up a good point about entering a long game world late and needing a place to setup shop.  Terminals would allow this.  Also, by having dedicated terminals, we could (finally) implement some sort of slot maintenance fee and/or luxury tax to throttle the massive airlines.

Richard Branson said the easiest way for a billionaire to become a millionaire is to start an airline.  You shouldn't be able to explode from 0 planes to 100+ in one year like you can in AWS.

Offline Maarten Otto

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2013, 08:32:39 PM »
Sorry  Sanabas, but not every one is flying a "every monkey can run an airline' with a 737 or A320 or even bigger stuff. If you fly smaller planes like turboprops you NEED more then that 1 slot per hour in order to survive. About that bidding system... A person flying relatively small aircraft will never be able to gain slots as the 737 guys will just outbid the smaller players who play a different game.

Offline Sami

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2013, 08:38:51 PM »
A person flying relatively small aircraft will never be able to gain slots as the 737 guys will just outbid the smaller players who play a different game.

I did not say the bidding would involve a "highest money bid gets it" type system, as that does not work.

brique

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2013, 09:00:21 PM »
Sorry  Sanabas, but not every one is flying a "every monkey can run an airline' with a 737 or A320 or even bigger stuff. If you fly smaller planes like turboprops you NEED more then that 1 slot per hour in order to survive. About that bidding system... A person flying relatively small aircraft will never be able to gain slots as the 737 guys will just outbid the smaller players who play a different game.

there is the rub, whatever system is in place, it will have trouble working equitably for all players and all types of airline : domestic services need more slots as smaller planes run more flights per day than LH: whatever system is put in place to ration slot take-up will inevitably disadvantage small plane flyers.

I did post in favour of a 'terminal' system way back when : and it could go some way to solving a lot of the issues : I'd be happy with a system like based on that notion.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2013, 09:11:42 PM by brique »

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2013, 09:22:16 PM »
I am afraid this allocation / bidding smells of a complete disaster.

As opposed to curing the underlying problem, it seems we are discussing symptoms.  A step back may be a good idea and examine the causes:
1. There is a limit to slots.  Players know about it.  They act rationally and hoard the limited resource
2. There are airports where demand exceeds the number of slots needed to serve it.  It puts pressure on slots at these airports

Don't turn AirwaySim into a SlotSim.  Airport slots should be far lower on the list things that give players a headache.  Just relieve slightly the 2 causes of the slot headaches, and all will be fine.

Really good scheduling of aircraft can be challenging even frustrating.  Even when slots are there the second I want them.  If there is a whole new elaborate system (a pipeline) for even getting the slots, it exponentially increases the challenge / frustration of creating a damn schedule.

I don't know today when, what time period I will need the slots tomorrow.  If I need to put into some sort of a pipeline a request for slots today, for aircraft that I will be scheduling tomorrow, next week or next game month/year, it just needs more planning and preparation that even an experienced player is willing to invest in.  And it will completely turn off the newbs...

My proposal would be to greatly downgrade the challenge of obtaining slots.  Make it easier.

An example of a good solution is how new aircraft lines operate - based on demand.  IF there is demand for an aircraft in a production line, production rate increases.  And the aircraft never run out.  You can always place more orders, as long as there is demand, the production line keeps churning aircraft.

Why can't airports do the same, just keep churning out slots proportionally to demand?

Offline Sami

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2013, 09:45:48 PM »
About airport expansions (also slots) here: http://www.airwaysim.com/forum/index.php/topic,21347.msg268408.html#msg268408

This would help yes, but I am not sure if it helps enough, as surely there would have to be some maximum in how much airport could expand, but would it be enough then? Do more (lots more) slots mean again more fokkers and that stuff when you should fly a Jumbo instead?


Although. If we look at LHR in beginner world that has been running for 1 month, currently about 130 players or so.. Lhr does have slots all day round. So if we have 600 players, we'd need to multiply current capacity by 4-5 at least to make them last? (250/hr or so??)

One additional thing combined to these is to tweak the dynamic pricing even further, as talked already.

And to add, I am still greatly in favor of adding a rule about how large portion of slots the local airlines can control vs outside airlines (same for any new slots appearing). This happens in real life too, but I am sure all "big boys" playing always at LHR, AMS etc will strongly oppose this... But single local airline getting all of the newly released slots at first parts of the game is plainly just wrong.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2013, 10:02:05 PM by sami »

brique

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2013, 10:29:46 PM »


And to add, I am still greatly in favor of adding a rule about how large portion of slots the local airlines can control vs outside airlines (same for any new slots appearing). This happens in real life too, but I am sure all "big boys" playing always at LHR, AMS etc will strongly oppose this... But single local airline getting all of the newly released slots at first parts of the game is plainly just wrong.


the 'terminal' idea would work there : Add a 'leasing' cost related to its size, which has to be funded from start-up capital, same as your first planes, and that would stop the first in from quickly locking up the airport by grabbing the biggest first.  Lemonbutts proposed method of allocating a number of slots per terminal, in a range of 'sizes', would encourage the operator to fly a proper mix of domestic, regional, etc, rather than go straight to LH only : incoming flights would have their own allocation of slots to choose from : as for expansion : as slot levels grow, the 'terminal' could be allocated more pro rata ; or the operator could, same as with opening a new base, opt to fund an expansion to the existing terminal or a 'move' to a larger one, if available and thus increase their slot options that way.

that would be an interesting challenge : maximising your options re:  fleet, routes, etc to generate the funds to expand further, rather than just order as many of the biggest birds you can find and then count the cash.


Offline LemonButt

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2013, 10:40:26 PM »
As opposed to curing the underlying problem, it seems we are discussing symptoms.  A step back may be a good idea and examine the causes:
1. There is a limit to slots.  Players know about it.  They act rationally and hoard the limited resource
2. There are airports where demand exceeds the number of slots needed to serve it.  It puts pressure on slots at these airports

The terminal system solves virtually everything.  If a player has an exclusive slot pool, there is no hoarding--slots are used at a players own detriment versus the detriment of other players.  If demand exceeds slots, the demand will either go unserved or players will start using larger aircraft (see LHR IRL).  The trade off being you can use larger aircraft and serve more destinations, but if a player based elsewhere decides to use their finite slot pool to beat you with frequency, then you're in trouble.  These are the business decisions people make IRL in deciding how to use their finite resources to maximize their profits.

A HUGE problem IMO with the current slot system is that if there are 10 slots available at 5:00am a single player can take all 10 slots to the detriment of other players.  Using a terminal system with an exclusive slot pool, players are forced to distribute their flights across all hours versus hogging slots in a single hour.  This is consistent with the real world where an airline will have 10 gates in a terminal and can only board 10 flights/hour due to logistics versus having 10 aircraft load up and take off at the exact same time.

The HUGE problem with an auction and/or bidding system is that the game days are 35 minutes long.  To give everyone a fair shot, you'd have to give players 24 hours of real time to give them a realistic chance to bid on anything.  Can you imagine waiting 24 hours in real time to get a used aircraft if you had to bid on it?  It is even worse than bidding on aircraft because you can always create a new aircraft out of thin air using money, but can't for slots.

Also in regards to terminals and the small domestic aircraft versus long haul--that is easy.  CVG for example had 80 gates to serve CRJs on a tarmac (Concourse C) when Comair was based there and they had 2 terminals with jetways for the bigger birds.  When a player starts a game, for example, give them the option of 20 gates restricted to small/medium aircraft, 15 gates with 5 restricted to small/medium, or 10 gates where they all have jetways for any size aircraft.  As I mentioned, ORD has gates for CRJs on a tarmac that can't fit large aircraft and it is one of the largest airports in the world.  Either that or simply restrict aircraft size based on the airport class.  For example, you shouldn't be running a fleet of EMB-120 out of LHR.  Likewise you're not going to be running a fleet of B777 out of SABA.

So in the end, the ultimate goal of a terminal system is that players have finite resources with an exclusive slot pool.  If they use 10 slots or 1000 slots it is not to the detriment of other players, only themselves, and poor allocation of those slots only hurts themselves.  There is no free for all or first come/first served system where you have to be online 23 hours/day to get slots at LHR.  Players will be forced to distribute their flights across all time slots versus having every aircraft leave at 5am to the detriment of other players not being able to take off at 5am.  Players can invest and expand their terminal and get more slots.  The opportunity cost being is it better to pay and expand my current terminal at my current airport or pay the money to open a new base?  Currently, opening a base costs a considerable sum and those costs are essentially the cost of opening up a new terminal in a new airport.

FORSBERC

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2013, 10:50:14 PM »
I am personally a fan of the terminal idea proposed by LemonButt for determining slots at hub airports. However, I would still have the current slot system for outside airlines. This would relate to the limited nature of the "other" terminal. As demand increases for the "other" terminal, slots would increase.

However, I think it should be a "global news event" saying
Quote
The London Airport Authority has decided to expand Terminal E and it should be completed by December 20, 1985. There will be 5 small, 5 medium, 10 large, and 0 very large gates added. Slot reservations begin June 15, 1985.

Or...
Quote
The London Airport Authority has decided to open a new terminal with 15 small gates, 10 mediums, 20 large, and 5 very large gates. The terminal is expected to be completed by December 20, 1985. Slot reservations begin June 15, 1985.

Any airline who "owns" a terminal at their hub should be able to expand it, or reallocate/resize gates. For example, if the stock terminal comes with 3 large gates, and 3 small gates, but the airline is only operating small aircraft, they could decide to reconfigure the large gates into small gates, allowing more small gates. This would be similar to reconfiguring aircraft seating arrangements. If you decide to put in smaller seats, then you can fit more seats into an airplane.

NOTE: For company gates, any smaller aircraft can use a higher level gate. For example, a small aircraft could use a large gate, but a large aircraft could not use a small gate.

I think this solution would provide player driven scale-ability and completely separate hub competition from "outside" competition.

On a side note, the "outside" airlines' terminal size could be scaled larger by a player driven payment. A new gate or terminal could be added for a price and could then be "reserved" for that one airline. However, these prices should be VERY large. However, players should have the option of teaming up with other airlines to help drive down the cost for the gate or terminal. Who ever helps pay for for the reservation, would be entitled to use the added availability. It would be up to the group to decide who will take which ones.

Another interesting addition to the terminal idea would be to have the ability to "lease" extra gates out to others, just like leasing owned airplanes. The option to lease would only apply to the airline's "hub" airport terminal gates. The price and duration would solely be determined by the owner.

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2013, 12:15:37 AM »
Sorry  Sanabas, but not every one is flying a "every monkey can run an airline' with a 737 or A320 or even bigger stuff. If you fly smaller planes like turboprops you NEED more then that 1 slot per hour in order to survive. About that bidding system... A person flying relatively small aircraft will never be able to gain slots as the 737 guys will just outbid the smaller players who play a different game.

With a turboprop-only airline, you'd be looking at about 4 slots/day/plane. 1 slot/hr is enough for 6 Q400s without a curfew, or ~12 737s, or ~21 LH. By the end of the 18 months, you'd have enough slots for 36 turboprops. Try starting on day 1 in LHR and ending up with turboprops only, and I bet you don't get that many slots after 18 months, you just can't get the money to buy them in time. And just to be clear, I'm only talking about doing this in the biggest, slot restricted airports. Running turboprops out of Pittsburgh, or 30 seaters out of Glasgow, you wouldn't be restricted to 1 up to 6 slots/hr for the first 18 months, because those airports wouldn't be limited that way. Smaller planes are definitely slot-intensive, but even if your 30 seater airline uses no night slots at all, you're still at a little over 4/hr as your overall average, though you've got 15/hr in some time slots. Nobody in LHR has an average above 4/hr, either, biggest is 3.9. So I think your current small airline would survive ok if it was under those restrictions, it'd just mean you'd need to pay more attention to scheduling instead of starting every plane at 05xx. But you wouldn't be under those restrictions unless you tried to run 30 seaters out of a massive airport, and you'd get less slots doing that under the current system.

I agree bidding, and not knowing when your slots might arrive, is not a good idea. Even if the bid system is done fairly, the problems caused by not knowing which slots you might get, when you might get them, etc, would I think be too damaging to gameplay, need you logging back in to check too often.

But some sort of terminal system means you can have a very good idea of future slot availability, and plan around it. For me, the game in big airports is already 'slotsim', success comes from acquiring the most slots before the airport runs out, becomes a waiting game for the next slot release and the massive splurge of cash on grabbing as many as possible, and becomes really, really boring once you have your airport to yourself. I quit JA because I'd proved I could start late but still end up as the sole airline somewhere big, I'd proved I could make plenty with russian planes, and I had expanded to fill my airport, meaning no more competition. And the biggest reason I did end up like that was because I was the one who ended up with the most slots, because I had both the available cash and was online at the right time to starve my competitors. Use a terminal system, and I could pay attention to expanding my own section of the airport. There'd still be the possibility of new airlines starting up to try and break my monopoly. There'd be more chance of the game staying interesting.

Quote from: Sami
This would help yes, but I am not sure if it helps enough, as surely there would have to be some maximum in how much airport could expand, but would it be enough then? Do more (lots more) slots mean again more fokkers and that stuff when you should fly a Jumbo instead?

Yes. Absolutely, 100% yes. Effectively unlimited slots means flying smaller planes 8 times/day vs bigger plane twice.

Quote
Although. If we look at LHR in beginner world that has been running for 1 month, currently about 130 players or so.. Lhr does have slots all day round. So if we have 600 players, we'd need to multiply current capacity by 4-5 at least to make them last? (250/hr or so??)

Nope, because beginner world airlines are not so aggressive. MT might have 4-5 times the players of BW, but that doesn't mean the desire for LHR slots will be 4-5 times as much. Just one aggressive airline in a money-printing location like LHR will have the same desire & cash for slots as a dozen BW airlines. Make LHR go to 250/hr, and you'll end up with airlines having 100/hr themselves, and LHR will still be slotlocked, but now the LHR airlines have even more cash on hand than they do now.

Quote
One additional thing combined to these is to tweak the dynamic pricing even further, as talked already.

This helps, a lot, early in the game. But further in, slot costs become trivial.

Quote
And to add, I am still greatly in favor of adding a rule about how large portion of slots the local airlines can control vs outside airlines (same for any new slots appearing). This happens in real life too, but I am sure all "big boys" playing always at LHR, AMS etc will strongly oppose this... But single local airline getting all of the newly released slots at first parts of the game is plainly just wrong.

Some sort of terminal system would help. It would do the same job as bidding followed by allocation, without the need to wait around/log back in to see the results of your bid. And as someone who mostly runs (and abandons) 'big boy' airlines, I'd be strongly in favour of it.

Quote from: lemonbutt
Can you imagine waiting 24 hours in real time to get a used aircraft if you had to bid on it?  It is even worse than bidding on aircraft because you can always create a new aircraft out of thin air using money, but can't for slots.

Offtopic a bit for this thread, but I think it would work really well for used planes. Not as 'plane is made available --> everyone bids --> winner gets plane 24 RL hours later' but as 'put in request for up to 3 planes --> every Monday brokers take 200 (later in game) up to 1000+ (earlier in game) planes out of storage, and attempt to fill requests --> planes are offered to airlines who have 24 hours to acquire them from UM/send them back to storage, with delivery in 1 week. Once made decision on up to 3 offers, can put in request again. If you're the only person to request a plane type, you'll get it.' If there are 100 airlines requesting 3 x a320, and 100 requesting 3 x 738, then they mgiht only get 1 plane each, and have it offered at a big markup. Think it would fix a lot of the issues that remain with acquiring used planes, but that's a separate thread.  :P

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2013, 12:22:57 AM »
About airport expansions (also slots) here: http://www.airwaysim.com/forum/index.php/topic,21347.msg268408.html#msg268408

That sounds good.  As far as years the expansion would take, years between expansions, that makes good sense from RL perspective, but it again invites gaming of the system.  All it does is invite grabbing those slots and be home free from competition for another 5-10 game years until the next expansion...

I would scrap the current policy of starting with 50% of slots at the beginning of the game world.  It just creates more limits unnecessarily, much earlier in the game than necessary.  If I see early in the game that LHR is down to some 2 slots per hour, the quicker I want to grab those slots.  If I see there are still 15/hr slots left, there is less reason to rush there.

This would help yes, but I am not sure if it helps enough, as surely there would have to be some maximum in how much airport could expand, but would it be enough then? Do more (lots more) slots mean again more fokkers and that stuff when you should fly a Jumbo instead?

The new pax allocation system already limits the frequency benefit greatly, so Fokkers don't automatically win.

But just because slots are limited, it does absolutely nothing about not wasting them on Fokkers or ATRs.  The incumbent airline, an airline that holds near monopoly at an airport does have an incentive to not waste slots at his own airport, in order to maximize his own revenue at his own airport.  But other players could not care less if they are screwing up other airports by wasting slots.

If I am based in Toulouse, and I have 450 demand to LHR, there no incentive for me to use 3 x 738 instead of 5 x Fokker.  In fact, the more I screw LHR, the more slots I waste, the less likely the incumbent airline will have to waste his diminished slots to fly back to my HQ.  So the tighter the limits are, the more incentive there is to abuse the limits and more incentive hoard.

Although. If we look at LHR in beginner world that has been running for 1 month, currently about 130 players or so.. Lhr does have slots all day round. So if we have 600 players, we'd need to multiply current capacity by 4-5 at least to make them last? (250/hr or so??)

Although number of players can be a decent proxy for the demand for slots, there is no reason to use a proxy.  The real variable is right there in front of our eyes to see, which is the number of slots left.  I would just have the dynamic expansion more frequent, in order to catch up with the actual demand.

Number of players may be something to consider for the new world, but I would just favor starting from real, 100% slot availability of the airport on day 1, and make expansions more frequent, say 1 per year, with the expansion adding perhaps 20% capacity.

Slot limitations will not completely disappear.  More desirable slots will go first, but it is less likely that we would be staring, (for years and years) at top 20 airports being all red, with zero slot availability anytime...

And to add, I am still greatly in favor of adding a rule about how large portion of slots the local airlines can control vs outside airlines (same for any new slots appearing). This happens in real life too, but I am sure all "big boys" playing always at LHR, AMS etc will strongly oppose this... But single local airline getting all of the newly released slots at first parts of the game is plainly just wrong.

If the slot growth is dynamic, all of the airports will settle to somewhere around 1.5x number of slots needed to serve all of the demand of the airport.  There will always be some slots available.

If the slot growth is dynamic, than slots are not a zero sum game.  The airlines based outside of a slot congested airport don't really care what percentage of the slots the incumbent there has.  They care about whether they can get 1 set to fly into the airport.  If slots always grow (when the available number shrinks), there will always be slots available, meaning the problem for airlines based outside is solved.

And if the outsiders can always find a slot, there will be no reason to micromanage the ratio of slots between the outsiders and incumbents.  Once the incumbent serves 100% of the demand of his airport, there is no reason for him to keep grabbing slots.  He can't slot lock the airport.  All he can do is to optimize his fleet, and observe how much competition develops.  The competitiveness of the game world will in the end determine the ratio of outsiders vs. incumbent slot ratio.  The more competitive the game world (number of players, number of big airlines) will mean fewer monopoly routes, more competition on all routes, the more slots will go to the outsiders.

I would just let one game world play out with dynamic slots, and I am confident it will prove there is no need for micromanagement of various ratios between incumbents and outsiders.

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2013, 12:47:32 AM »
Yes. Absolutely, 100% yes. Effectively unlimited slots means flying smaller planes 8 times/day vs bigger plane twice.

Not if every slot holder is a subject to Airport Expansion fee.  If the fee is high enough, assessed per slot, not per pax, it could completely wipe out the profit of 8x/day airline while 4x/day airline while bigger aircraft could still make some profit.

The idea of Airport Expansion fee is to hit those with small, slot wasting aircraft at slot congested airport far more than those airlines using appropriate aircraft.

It would further limit the frequency benefit, which the last pax allocation system adjustments (partially) tamed.

Offline dmoose42

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2013, 12:57:16 AM »
I really like the terminal approach by lemonbutt for what it's worth. (Close to zero.  Might be negative)

Offline [ATA] frimp

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2013, 09:43:32 AM »
just bought some slots in ATL in MT9... 23m for 7slots... That will quickly change things.

OUCH.

Offline Teadaze

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2013, 09:49:17 AM »
try 40m


Online [SC] - King Kong

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Re: Slots - the final solution
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2013, 10:13:54 AM »
This is not the solution. Makes the game unplayable...

I run quite some routes in a smaller airport as BOG. I can't pay 5mil for slots to schedule an atr....

 

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