Aircraft Delays at Major U.S. Airports Can Be Reduced

Gao ID: CED-79-102 September 4, 1979

In 1977, aircraft delays caused U.S. airlines to use an additional 700 million gallons of fuel which is over 8 percent of their total consumption, detained travelers 600 million hours, and cost the airlines over $800 million.

The delays can be reduced if runway capacity at major airports is used more efficiently by shifting air traffic from peak to off-peak periods or to other airports. Another way to reduce delays is to charge peak operating fees instead of the existing landing fees which are based on aircraft weight. Quotas have succeeded in reducing delays by limitng the number of aircraft operations during congested periods. Under the Airport Development Aid Program (ADAP), reliever airports would be established to relieve congestion at major airports.


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Director: Oliver W. Krueger Team: General Accounting Office: Community and Economic Development Division Phone: (202) 275-4914

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