What is a Slot and Why Can’t I Take Off As Soon As I’m Ready?

What is a Slot and Why Can’t I Take Off As Soon As I’m Ready?

Whether you’re traveling for business or leisure, there’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination and sitting around waiting for a flight to depart. There’s no good reason for this, especially when you checked in early, made it through security, found your gate, queued to get on board and settled into your seat. And then you hear the captain say, “We’re waiting for a slot.” But what is a slot and why can’t you take off as soon as you’re ready?

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An allocated time or place for an aircraft to take off or land, as authorized by an airport or air-traffic control authority:Air traffic controllers will allocate slots to aircraft that need to fly in and out of congested areas.

The use of slot allocation has helped reduce delays and fuel burn in Europe, resulting in major financial savings for airlines. The technology is being adopted worldwide and will be critical to the future of aviation.

In sports, a slot is an area of the field between and slightly behind the outside wide receivers on an offensive team. Receivers in this position are known as “slot receivers” and are often shorter and quicker than traditional wide receivers. They are important for pass-heavy offenses, as they can run routes that match up with other receivers and help to confuse the defense. In recent years, many teams have started to rely heavily on slot receivers.


The interior opening in a newspaper’s copy desk, typically occupied by the chief copy editor:He has the slot at the Gazette.


An opening in a computer that can accept an expansion board:A new printer was installed in the slot that used to hold the disk drive.

The term also refers to the position in a computer’s memory into which a processor is inserted:I tried to install the new CPU but it won’t fit into my old slot. This was due to the fact that it is a different architecture. A newer, faster CPU was needed. The CPU’s memory is now in a much more dense format. The old slot cannot accommodate the new CPU, so it was necessary to buy a new motherboard with more slots. The newer, more advanced CPU has several slots that are able to support it. The older, less-capable motherboard only had one slot that supported the older CPU.