Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research






One of the most important characteristics of an airport is the length of its longest runway: that length determines the types of aircraft that can use the airport and provides a margin of safety for users. A runway extension, therefore, would enhance the utility of many airports. But resources are scarce, and if funds are to be allocated at the state level, state officials need a method for determining which airports could best use a longer runway. Consideration of demographic factors enhances the traditional engineering analysis approach to runway evaluation. This combined approach is more consistent with the goals of comprehensive airport planning. This paper describes a model that uses regression analysis to compare airports in Alabama, taking into account a number of different demographic factors and airport related factors. A linear regression model was used to evaluate how an airport's runway length compared to others around the state with similar characteristics. The residuals from the regressions were used to identify those airports with relatively short runways, considering their other characteristics. The regression analysis identified 22 of the 106 public-use airports in Alabama as having runways substantially shorter than their other characteristics would predict.



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