Logan International Airport Case Study

Topics: Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Airport Pages: 9 (2305 words) Published: November 14, 2014


Logan International Airport Case Study
MGCR 472: Operation Management

Executive Summary
This report provides an analysis and evaluation of the current and prospective delay problems of Logan International Airport at Boston, Massachusetts. Method of analysis includes waiting line simulation and historical data tracking as well as response from both local community and Massport. Results of the data show that the major causes to delay are broken down in the following: 1.       Increasing demand for annual operations

2.      Adverse weather conditions, especially the northwest wind which Logan airport is not designed to accommodate at normal capacity. 3.      Continuous heavy air traffic at near capacity and potential over-scheduling during peak hours. The report finds the prospects of Logan International Airport in its current position are neither responsive to the delay problem nor well prepared for the predicted increase in passengers and operations in the upcoming years. Recommendations discussed in the report to combat the delay issue include: 1. Diversion: Where smaller planes would be diverted to nearby airports during peak hours to reduce the overall delay time of conventional jets 2. Runway: increase the overall capacity of the airport to mitigate delay problems 3. Demand-management methods: such as peak-period pricing, incentives to divert aircraft to non-peak hours, and tradable permits of 15-minute peak-period slots. We expect peak period pricing to be the most effective means of reducing delay time because smaller aircrafts are less able to absorb the peak period landing fee and will most likely opt to land during non-peak hours.

Problem Analysis
Logan airport is an airport that suffers from many delay issues due to the fact that it operates at capacity or over capacity during peak hours. The main cause of the delays is due to moderate or adverse weather conditions which renders either 1 or 2 of its runways unusable. During good weather conditions and peak timing of 17h, there is a 12.5-minute expected system wait time. However at 18h, the arrival rate exceeds the capacity rate (utilization rate is greater than 1) and the line goes to infinity according to the waiting line system. This is also the case in moderate and adverse weather conditions. (Figure 1) However in reality, because the arrival rate differs per hour, the excess arrivals in the peak periods are left waiting (circulating in the air) until arrival rates drop in non-peak period (hour 19). The problem with the status quo is that it is very costly because delay times are very high. For example, during peak hours in moderate or adverse weather conditions, planes are delayed an average of 1.5 hours and incurs a cost up to $167,079 (Figure 1&2). In addition when planes are delayed for landing they are forced to circulate in the airspace which is potentially dangerous when the airspace becomes crowded and it would result in an increased fuel cost. Even under good weather conditions where the utilization is less than 1 and we can calculate a delay time, the cost associated with that delay can become very expensive (up to$ 53,015 for conventional jets). (Figure 4) As Logan airport faces capacity issues on a daily basis during peak hours, it is important that a solution is implemented as quickly as possible to start reducing the high delay costs.

Recommendations
Divert traffic to another airport
An alternative that was considered was diverting the Turboprops and regional airplanes to another airport. Worchester airport is 53 miles from Logan airport which is approximately 10 minutes by flight. Only the smaller regional and turboprops can be diverted because large planes are likely to overfly the distance from Logan to Worchester. Worchester Regional Airport is ideal because it has the capacity to take on additional flights since its...

Bibliography: “Airport Quotas and Peak Hour Pricing: Theory and Practice.” U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration, May 1976. Web. 25 March 2014.
“Chapter 5: Other Approaches to Reducing Delay.” Airport System Development. n.d. Web. 25 March 2014.
Conard, Linda. Virtual Skies: Airport Design. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, April 2010. Web. 25 March 2014.
Federal Aviation Administration. U.S. Department of Transportation. 21 Feb. 2014. Web. 25 March 2014.
“How Logan Airport Operates.” Massport and the Environment. Massport. Web. 25 March 2014.
“Observed Weather Reports.” National Weather Service Forecast Office, n.d. Web. 25 March 2014
Willey, Mark. “Runway Demand Management Scheme: Brisbane Airport.” Brisbane Airport, n.d. Web. 25 March 2014.
“Worcester Regional Airport.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclypedia. Web. 25 March 2014.
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