What Is a Slot?


A slit or narrow opening, especially one for receiving something, such as coins or paper. A narrow space in a piece of furniture or a door frame. A position or time in which a task is scheduled to be performed. A slot in the schedule of a flight.

A slot (plural slots) is an area in which a computer or other machine can be programmed to store a program. The slot can also be a compartment of hardware into which data may be stored or transferred. The term can also refer to a position or time in a sequence or series.

Using slot-based scheduling can apply to a variety of business functions and situations. For example, a team can use specific time slots to organize meetings and other events that support the achievement of project objectives. Tracking and monitoring deadlines and other key events in this way can help teams stay on-track and improve performance by keeping all members of the team aware of current expectations and requirements.

A slot can also be a particular position or time in which an airplane is scheduled to land at an airport. Airlines compete for these slots and they can be very valuable assets. Some air travel managers use slots to manage aircraft traffic when runway capacity or airspace is limited, such as at Heathrow in London. Similarly, airports can allocate slots to particular airlines as part of an agreement to operate the airport at certain times.