Abstract: With continuing worldwide increases in demand for air travel, the lack of adequate airport capacity is widely recognized as one of the main challenges facing the global air transport system. Limited airport capacity is already the main underlying cause of air traffic delays that annually cost tens of billions of dollars to the world’s economies. In this talk, we shall describe the main drivers of airport capacity, starting with the capacity of a single runway and proceeding to the capacity of multi-runway systems, such as those typically found at the busiest airports. We shall also discuss the status of the ‘airport capacity crunch’ in the United States, Western Europe, China and Southeast Asia to underscore regional differences and the varying underlying causes of air traffic delays, as well as the prospects for mitigating the problem.
Bio: Amedeo Odoni is the T. Wilson Chair Professor Emeritus of Aeronautics and Astronautics and of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT. He specializes in Operations Research and its applications to transportation systems and to urban services. Among many positions, he has served as Co-Director of the FAA’s National Center of Excellence in Aviation Operations Research (1996-2002) and of MIT’s Operations Research Center (1986-91). He has more than 100 professional publications and 9 books to his credit, including the popular textbooks Urban Operations Research (with R. C. Larson), Airport Systems (with R. de Neufville), and The Global Airline Industry (co-edited with P. Belobaba and C. Barnhart). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of INFORMS, and the recipient of many awards for his teaching and research. He has also served as consultant to many of the busiest airports in the world on projects related to planning and design and to air traffic management.