Development of an Airport Choice Model for General Aviation Operations (2002)

Author: Senanu Y. Ashiabor

The General Aviation Airport Choice model is an attempt to model General Aviation (GA) travel patterns in the US in order to provide a means of assessing the impact of General Aviation activities on the National Air Space system. The model will also serve as part of transportation planning tool to help assess the viability of deploying NASA’s Small Aircraft Transportation Systems (SATS) aircraft as a competitive mode of transportation for intercity travel. The General Aviation Airport Choice model developed estimates General Aviation (GA) person-trips and number of aircraft operations given trip demand in the form of GA person trips from counties. A pseudo-gravity model is embedded in the model to distribute the inter-county person-trips to a prescribed set of airports in the US. The airport-to-airport person-trips are split into person-trips by three aircraft modes (single, multi and jet engine) using an attractiveness factor based on average occupancy, utilization and a distance distribution factor for each aircraft type and the number of aircraft based at each airport. The person-trips by aircraft type are then converted to aircraft operations using occupancy factors for each aircraft type. The final output from the model are aircraft operations trip-tables by aircraft type between the airports in the model. The GA trips are estimated in order to provide a means of assessing the impact of GA activities on the National Airspace System. The model output may be used to assess the viability of GA aircraft serving as a competitive mode of transportation for intercity travel.

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