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Centre of Applied Explore Technology

Extended Definition of Capacity in Airport Systems


Nowadays the main airports throughout the world are suffering because their capacity are getting close to saturation due to the air traffic which is still increasing besides the economic crisis and oil prices. In addition, the forecasts predict an increase in air traffic of at least 3.6% until 2020.

Defining airport capacity by maximum hourly runway movements does not cover all the limiting elements. Other factors that also play a role in the capacity must be taken into account such as societal restrictions and airline business models on hub and spokes. These restrictions are sometimes subjective but it does not mean that must be neglected under a decision-making process. Elements like noise, emissions but also limited runway slots all influence the possible solutions to deal with constraint airports on how to allocate airport capacity amongst airport users or what measures will add capacity to the airport on the long run. In order to better understand the elements that influence the airport capacity and study the possible solutions on how to deal with constraints airports an extended airport capacity definition is needed. In the following sections the different factors that must be taken into account are presented and discussed, and an extended definition of capacity is addressed.


Mujica Mota, M., & Boosten, G. (2011) Extended Definition of Capacity in Airport Systems, in the Proc. of ISNGI’14, Vienna, Austria.

1 October 2011