Runway occupancy is amongst of the most important key performance indicator for airports operations. Runway occupancy is very versatile and not always easy to measure. Creating an adequate runway occupancy monitor with the Foxbox toolkit is very easy and we can also guide you in the measurement tool design process.

Check this demonstration showing in fast time how runway occupancy evolves over the day at Dubai International airport. Because each airport is different, the runway occupancy measurement tools must adapt.

The Zurich demonstration available via this demo page presents runway occupancy of the departure runway 28 in a very graphical way. It illustrates how departing aircraft and crossing aircraft share the runway resource.

Contact us  to discuss how we could support you in getting the information you need out of air traffic data.

More on runway occupancy

Runways time is a precious resource and all actors of the air traffic management community shall aim at maximising their use. Runway occupancy is a key performance indicator reflecting how well a runway is used over time.

Runway occupancy can be expressed in different complementary ways. For example, the time for which a runway was occupied during the last hours: 45 minutes per hour. This can also be expressed as a percentage, in this case 75%. But this is not enough because it says nothing about the number of flights or ground vehicles that occupied the runway. 45 minutes spread over 15 aircraft much less efficient than 45 minutes by 25 aircraft.

Another approach is to measure the individual occupancy time per ground vehicle and aircraft. Comparing occupancy times for similar aircraft types can help identify possible capacity improvements.

Landings and takeoffs must be analysed independently and special care must be given to crossing runways and taxiways. Line-up and vacate taxiways, and in particular high-speed taxiways also have an important impact on runway occupancy.

Other factors must be considered when measuring runway occupancy, including but not limited to:

  • runways in use
  • mode of operations: mixed mode with landings and takeoffs on the same runway or segregated more
  • operational category: visual, CAT I or CAT II/III which require waiting further away from the runway
  • airport and airline operation procedures
  • ATC separation on final: visual, radar with 2.5, 3.0 or 5.0 NM

Such measurements can be made on the base of A-SMGCS data or from publicly available ADS-B sources. The data source used also has impact on the design and quality of the key performance indicators that can be built to analyse runway occupancy.

Runway occupancy should be monitored permanently to identify trends and possible degradation in airport capacity. It should also be used to evaluate the impact of projects aiming at improving an airport’s capacity.

We have tools, experience and expertise in designing runway occupancy measurement applications and can provide turnkey solutions, on premises or in the cloud. Our consulting services are also available independently from the tools we provide and we can help you further improve your existing data warehouse. We are and will remain independent from equipment and projects suppliers and stay focused on the production of intelligence out of air traffic data.