Runway Capacity

Subject: Business
Type: Cause and Effect Essay
Pages: 2
Word count: 623
Topics: Logistics, Engineering, Management

Running a seamless air traffic management system remains the biggest nightmare for all airport managers. The clogging and unprecedented delays occasioned by congestion, run ways, loading delays, and associated problems cause cancellations with costly consequences. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) partakes to build essential facilities across different airports; however, reaching the equilibrium between demand and capacity is the clear point of weakness (Hoel, Garber & Sadek, 2010). The primary cause of these problems originate from the lack of capacity in the runway system imposed by various issues.

Separation standards

These are institutionalized principles indicating the distance and time between aircrafts turning on the runways. According to the aviation rule, any aircraft taking off or landing should have the runway clear. To this effect, an aircraft is not allowed to take off or taxi into the runway before clear orders prevail. The separation rule ensures that aircrafts maintain clear distance and can evade accidents in case of emergencies. 

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Aviation standards

The Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) or air traffic control (ATC) maintain the precise and formalized single occupancy rule. Obviously, in airports with single runways, this causes delays and is further subject to wake turbulence separation for heavier aircrafts. 

Runway instrumentation

The nature of instrumentation highly affect runway systems, which can ultimately affect operation. Runways constructed without the ability to navigate planes during poor visibility scenarios have limitations. Naturally this means that delays after delays must be recorded for visibility to be achieved.

Weight and speed

Weight dictates the wake turbulence separation and time for standard separations. At the same time, speed control the runway occupancy, which in turn is used for a decision on which aircraft can occupy a given runway at the same time.

Runway configuration 

The runway layout with regards to length and strength act as a basis as to which aircraft can take off or land at a given time. Additionally, the separation between the runways and intersections to exit taxiways is used to establish neighboring obstructions, which is decisive for flight controllers. The runway configuration may also limit aircraft types. 

Movement mix

Runways systems experience diverse movement mixes primarily dissipated by different types of aircrafts. During taking off or landing, the positive fractions existing in a set of proportions may design, which runway to take and hence the capacity.


Certainly, this is the prime consideration and number one priority for any airport operation. Runway systems must observe all the safety standards and whenever circumstances change or a risk arise in the runway all activities must stop since the initialization of the wake turbulence separation in 1977.


Visibility, humidity, wind or precipitation may affect operationalization of a runway. Strong wings against short runways coupled with inadequate instrumentation has the direct impact on the choice of instrumentation. Additionally, aircrafts without the capacity to operate in such runways may find it difficult to land or take off.

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Runway characteristics

Runway systems with adequate lighting, radar and navigation aids in particular segments allows for full time operation with a constant capacity. Additionally, the features or obstacles assisted by rules and procedures help successful operation.

In conclusion, FA sets conditions for operation within the airport. Whether publicly owned or privately operated, airports almost face similar problems especially the ones located in major towns. In the contemporary world, people can no longer trust booking schedules due to queuing aircrafts waiting to land, use runways or take off. The problems have resulted into intense operating costs translating into time wasting with long term effects on the customers. Any air traffic management system should install an integrated radar system with the ability to constantly monitor weather, runway conditions and decipher instantaneous as well as periodic variance important for timely decision making (Ashford, Mumayiz & Wright, 2011).  

Did you like this sample?
  1. Ashford, N., Mumayiz S., & Wright P. (2011). Airport engineering, Design planning and development of the 21st century airports. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley
  2. Hoel L., Garber N. & Sadek A. (2010). Transport infrastructure engineering: A multimodal integration, SI version. New York, NY: Cengage learning 
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