The downward trend in aircraft costs and the upward trend in airport costs with increasing runway length suggest that analysis could predict the optimum characteristics for both. Curves (or functions) for both airport and aircraft costs would be constructed in terms of runway length. The optimum runway length is that at which the sum of the curves shows a minimum cost. If the minimum cost is not sharply defined, but rather exhibits a wide flat valley over a range of runway lengths, then it is a matter of indifference to the operator what runway length is chosen within this range. The curves are derived as follows. A curve of aircraft operating costs versus runway length is computed by calculating costs of hypothetical fleets at several discrete runway lengths. By hypothetical fleet is meant that, at each runway length, the costs of the aircraft actually based at the airport under study were modified to what they would have been had each airplane been designed to operate from exactly that length of runway. Each point on the cost curve represents the sum of the costs of all aircraft in the hypothetical fleet assuming each flew the same of hours during the period in question as did its real-life counterpart. The total cost of production is found as a function of runway length by summing together the curve of aircraft operating costs and the curve of runway costs. The lowest point on the summation defines what might be called the socially optimal (externalities excepted) runway length for that airport with the activity mix it experienced and the land value postualted. It is noted that pricing is the obvious element in the policy domain where action could be taken to provide consumers with an incentive to adopt less runway-requiring aircraft.

Media Info

  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: p. 399-417
  • Serial:
    • Traffic Quarterly
    • Volume: 27
    • Issue Number: 3
    • Publisher: Eno Transportation Foundation
    • ISSN: 0041-0713

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00155711
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 31 1977 12:00AM