Increasing Airport Capacity Without Increasing Airport Size


Publication Date: March 2008

Publisher: Reason Foundation

Author(s): Viggo Butler

Research Area: Environment; Transportation

Type: Report


What if there were ways to expand the runway capacity of an airport without expanding the airport's footprint? That would mean that an urban area could receive the economic benefits that come along with continued growth in air service without the protracted battles over land acquisition, and without the long delays attendant to such battles.

The purpose of this policy study is to explore an array of new technologies that hold significant promise for expanding the functional capacity of airport runways. These technologies--most of which already exist--are planned for incorporation into a completely new air traffic control system to replace the current system over the next 20 years. The overall concept of operations and system architecture is being developed by a federal inter-agency planning group, the Joint Planning & Development Office, advised by aerospace/electronics industry teams. This new approach is being called the NextGen system.