A Modeling Framework to Estimate Airport Runway Capacity in the National Airspace System (2007)

Author: Yueh-Ting Chen

The objective of this study is to estimate the airport capacity in the National Airspace System (NAS). Previous studies have focused on the airport capacity of large commercial airports. This research study estimates the runway capacity for more than two thousand airports in the NAS in order to understand future tradeoffs between air transportation demand and supply. The study presented in this report includes capacity estimates for general aviation and commercial airports. To estimate airport runway capacity, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airfield Capacity Model (ACM) is used to assess the capacity at all candidate airports in a target airport set. This set includes all airports with potential Very Light Jet (VLJ) operations. The result of the study provides a broad view about the airport capacity in the future air transportation system, and could help decision makers with a modeling framework to identify congestion patterns in the system. Moreover, airport capacity is an important limiting factor in the growth of air transportation demand. The main motivation in our analyis is to include airport capacity constraints in forecasts of air transportation demand. The framework described in this report has been integrated into the Transportation Systems Analysis Model (TSAM). TSAM is a comprehensive intercity and multimode transportation planning tool to predict future air transportation demand.

[Full Text]