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Lack of airport capacity: Exploration of alternative solutions


  • Hamzawi, Salah G.


Lack of sufficient airport capacity to meet traffic demands and the resulting problem of congestion and delays plague the aviation system at many major airports around the world. As traffic continues to grow, the problem worsens. This issue has become a major concern of airport authorities and airlines and innovative means of accommodating the ever increasing airline traffic have been sought. The paper explores some approaches for coping with the underlying problem of imbalance between the available airport capacity and the traffic demands placed on the system. Four basic alternative approaches are discussed: increasing the capacity through building new airports or expansion of existing facilities; reducing the demand by transferring portions of it to alternate locations or to other transportation modes; spreading the traffic peaks through economic or administrative measures to make the demand fit within the available capacity; and application of new technology and innovative operational practices to optimize the operation and usage of airport facilities. The effectiveness of each approach in relieving congestion and the implementation difficulties involved are discussed and final conclusions are presented. The scope of the paper has generally been confined to the landside component of the airport system.

Suggested Citation

  • Hamzawi, Salah G., 1992. "Lack of airport capacity: Exploration of alternative solutions," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 47-58, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:26:y:1992:i:1:p:47-58

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    1. repec:eee:jaitra:v:64:y:2017:i:pb:p:173-185 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Reynolds-Feighan, Aisling J. & Button, Kenneth J., 1999. "An assessment of the capacity and congestion levels at European airports," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 113-134.
    3. Solak, Senay & Clarke, John-Paul B. & Johnson, Ellis L., 2009. "Airport terminal capacity planning," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 659-676, July.
    4. Santos, Miguel Gueifão & Antunes, António Pais, 2015. "Long-term evolution of airport networks: Optimization model and its application to the United States," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 17-46.
    5. KIyIldI, R. Koray & Karasahin, M., 2008. "The capacity analysis of the check-in unit of Antalya Airport using the fuzzy logic method," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 610-619, May.
    6. Aykin, Turgut, 1995. "The hub location and routing problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 200-219, May.
    7. Redondi, Renato & Gudmundsson, Sveinn Vidar, 2016. "Congestion spill effects of Heathrow and Frankfurt airports on connection traffic in European and Gulf hub airports," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 287-297.
    8. Aisling J. Reynolds-Feighan & Kenneth Button, 1999. "Report on capacity of airport infrastructure," Open Access publications 10197/2974, School of Economics, University College Dublin.

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