The Efficient Use of Airport Runway Capacity in a Time of Scarcity

by Alan Carlin, Rolla Edward Park

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An examination of the extent and nature of the airplane delay problem and alternative short-term policies to increase the efficiency of runway use. Relevant data, mainly from the three major New York airports for the period April 1967 through March 1968, are investigated and a simple queueing model is presented. Calculations show total delays during the one-year period of 3.3 million minutes at Kennedy, .9 million at La Guardia, and .7 million at Newark. Efficiency could be improved by a system of proportional marginal cost pricing, which would change the basis for runway use fees from aircraft weight to hour of day, and by administrative measures involving elimination of some or all general aviation. A combination of these strategies would be even more efficient, as would a policy of issuing short-term permits during particular hours according to use. (See also RM-5815, RM-5816, RM-5818, RM-5819.)

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