We present a distributed algorithm for obtaining a fair time slot allocation for link activation in a multihop radio network. We introduce the concept of maximal fairness in which the termination of a fair allocation algorithm is related to maximal reuse of the channel under a given fairness metric. The fairness metric can be freely interpreted as the expected link traffic load demands, link priorities, etc. Since respective demands for time slot allocation will not necessarily be equal, we define fairness in terms of the closeness of allocation to respective link demands while preserving the collision free property. The algorithm can be used in conjunction with existing link activation algorithms to provide a fairer and fuller utilization of the channel. Copyright š 1987 by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.