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Do more US airports need slot controls? A welfare based approach to determine slot levels


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  • Swaroop, Prem
  • Zou, Bo
  • Ball, Michael O.
  • Hansen, Mark
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    This paper analyzes the welfare effects of slot controls on major US airports. We consider the fundamental tradeoff between benefits from queuing delay reduction and costs due to simultaneous schedule delay increase to passengers while imposing slot limits at airports. A set of quantitative models and simulation procedures are developed to explore the possible airline scheduling responses through reallocating and trimming flights. We find that, of the 35 major US airports, a more widespread use of slot controls would improve travelers’ welfare. The results from our analyses suggest that slot caps at the four airports that currently have slot controls (Washington Reagan, Newark, New York LaGuardia, New York John F. Kennedy) are set too high. Further slot reduction by removing some of the flights at these airports could generate additional benefits to passengers. Slot controls can potentially reduce two thirds of the total system delays caused by congestion. A number of implementation and design issues related to the use of slot controls are also discussed in the paper.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part B: Methodological.

    Volume (Year): 46 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 9 ()
    Pages: 1239-1259

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transb:v:46:y:2012:i:9:p:1239-1259

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    Keywords: Airport demand management; Slot controls; Flight delay; Schedule delay; Airline scheduling; Welfare;


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    1. Michael O. Ball & Lawrence M. Ausubel & Frank Berardino & Peter Cramton & George Donohue & Mark Hansen & Karla Hoffman, 2007. "Market-Based Alternatives for Managing Congestion at New York’s LaGuardia Airport," Papers of Peter Cramton 07mbac, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 2007.
    2. Czerny, Achim I., 2010. "Airport congestion management under uncertainty," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 371-380, March.
    3. Proussaloglou, Kimon & Koppelman, Frank S., 1999. "The choice of air carrier, flight, and fare class," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 193-201.
    4. Hansen, Mark & Wei, Wenbin, 2006. "Multivariate analysis of the impacts of NAS investments: A case study of a capacity expansion at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 227-235.
    5. Carlin, Alan & Park, Rolla Edward, 1970. "Marginal Cost Pricing of Airport Runway Capacity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 310-19, June.
    6. Morrison, Steven A. & Winston, Clifford, 2008. "The effect of FAA expenditures on air travel delays," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 669-678, March.
    7. Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2003. "Network Effects, Congestion Externalities, and Air Traffic Delays: Or Why Not All Delays Are Evil," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1194-1215, September.
    8. Brueckner, Jan K., 2009. "Price vs. quantity-based approaches to airport congestion management," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 681-690, June.
    9. Frank Berardino, 2009. "New US Airport Slot Policy in Flux," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 43(2), pages 279-290, May.
    10. Flores-Fillol, Ricardo, 2010. "Congested hubs," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 358-370, March.
    11. Ashley, Katherine & Savage, Ian, 2010. "Pricing congestion for arriving flights at Chicago O'Hare Airport," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 36-41.
    12. Basso, Leonardo J. & Zhang, Anming, 2010. "Pricing vs. slot policies when airport profits matter," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 381-391, March.
    13. Daniel, Joseph I. & Harback, Katherine Thomas, 2008. "(When) Do hub airlines internalize their self-imposed congestion delays?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 583-612, March.
    14. Jan Brueckner & Ricardo Flores-Fillol, 2007. "Airline Schedule Competition," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 161-177, May.
    15. Rupp, Nicholas G., 2009. "Do carriers internalize congestion costs? Empirical evidence on the internalization question," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 24-37, January.
    16. Brueckner, Jan, 2009. "Airport Congestion Management: Prices or Quantities," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt8qs9k927, University of California Transportation Center.
    17. Jan K. Brueckner, 2002. "Airport Congestion When Carriers Have Market Power," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1357-1375, December.
    18. Hsiao, Chieh-Yu & Hansen, Mark, 2011. "A passenger demand model for air transportation in a hub-and-spoke network," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 1112-1125.
    19. Hansen, Mark, 2002. "Micro-level analysis of airport delay externalities using deterministic queuing models: a case study," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 73-87.
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    Cited by:
    1. Kim, Amy & Hansen, Mark, 2013. "Deconstructing delay: A non-parametric approach to analyzing delay changes in single server queuing systems," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 119-133.
    2. Liu, Yi & Hansen, Mark & Zou, Bo, 2013. "Aircraft gauge differences between the US and Europe and their operational implications," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 1-10.


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