Differences in airport operational efficiencies and environmental impact: An examination of U.S. large and medium hub commercial airports

by Palk, Delcy M., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2007, 81 pages; 3288817


U.S. large and medium hub airports were evaluated to determine causes of operational efficiency differences, and whether accounting for undesirable environmental impact may create efficiency differences. Secondary data were examined in this study. Data sources included U.S. Department of Transportation TRANSTAT T-100 Market, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration OPSNET, U.S. National Weather Service, and current VFR aeronautical sectionals and precision instrument approach plates from the U.S. National Aeronautical Charting Office. The data envelopment analysis (DEA) undesirable outputs model was used for investigating operational efficiencies. Input variables included airport acreage, maximum weight bearing capability of airfield, number of runway orientations, number of parallel runways, number of intersections leading off runway, number of high-speed taxiway exits, and number of ILS approaches. Output variables included totals for calendar years 2003-2006 for cargo (in pounds), passenger, and mail (in pounds) movement (origination and departures). Undesirable output used heavy and stage III retrofit aircraft operations as a proxy for environmental impact associated with noise. It was found that large hubs have higher operating efficiencies than medium hubs, and that medium hubs are negatively impacted by annual snowfall levels of 7.5" or more. No significant operational efficiency differences were noted for number of alternate airports within a 25 NM radius, number of based aircraft, or number of general aviation operations. Significant differences were noted for operational efficiencies associated with airport governance. From the examined inputs and outputs measurements of this study, it appears that airports with more acreage/real property show more efficiency in moving passengers, cargo, and mail.

AdviserZhenhu Jin
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Transportation; Operations research
Publication Number3288817

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