Project Details

Transportation Research Board

Airports in Indiana


Annual aircraft operations estimates have multiple uses in aviation planning. Because the majority of airports open to the public do not have air traffic control towers (which track and record aircraft operations), they do not have ready access to this information. The objective of this research was to identify, test and evaluate methods for obtaining aircraft operations counts at non-towered airports.

Woolpert’s research provided a clear understanding of the limitations of aircraft traffic counting equipment for sampling airport operations, as well as applying that understanding in the field based on airfield configurations. The research also details the best practices for using statistical extrapolation to expand a sample count of aircraft operations into an annual estimate of operations.

The key value of this study for ACRP is the identification of best practices for airport sponsors and government entities to use in estimating aircraft operations at non-towered airports, with the ultimate goal of providing more accurate data for airport planning.