Explain why demand peaking at any airport usually becomes less acute as traffic grows. Consider seasonal peaking, day of the week peaking and hour of the day peaking.
Demand peaking at any airport is usually less acute as traffic grows due to the presence of Air traffic control. This Air Traffic Control is a service guaranteed by ground-based technicians and controllers who manage the airspace and direct any within, leaving or arriving at the airport. The air traffic controllers particularly are able to halt takeoffs and clear skies if there is any unprecedented traffic at the airports. In the September 11, 2001 tragedy in America, the air traffic controllers managed to clear the snarl up very efficiently (Delfman, p. 23, 2005). The safety of over 5, 000 airborne aircraft was the primary duty of these technicians who were working under tense conditions due to the terrorist invasion. They successfully managed to guide 4, 500 planes carrying350, 000 passengers in U. S-controlled airspace to safe landings. Additionally they managed to bring about 75% of those aircrafts within an hour of their order, landing them at the rate of 30 a minute over a two and a half hour period.
The demand peaking at the airports can be seasonal, weekly, or hourly depending on the airport’s location and its affiliate aircraft companies. The seasonal peaking particularly summer and winter is usually fully managed through the availing of large aircrafts such as Airbus A380, which absorbs an increased number of passengers. The schedule at the airports during these seasons is usually timed efficiently in to slot in extra flights to manage the air traffic. The air traffic bookings being synchronized with the aircraft’s available in the schedule easily help the passengers to know beforehand the situation at the airport. There is increased optimization of traffic sequencing that achieves much maximization of the runway throughput. During the peak periods, the airline clients are briefed on available flights and thus can switch for their own convenience. Much traffic deters many of the potential passengers from making inconvenient bookings.
How do airlines schedule additional flights on individual markets as traffic on these markets grows? Are there differences between short and long distance markets? What is the influence of airport capacity? What additional factors play a role in the gradual de-peaking of traffic?
In times of intense traffic and demand peaks at the airports, many airlines factor in additional flights to meet the demands of their clients. This is usually made possible through a procedure known as the Codeshare agreement. Under this arrangement, airlines, two or more, agree to share same flight. In many instances, an airline purchases seats on another airline, which may be operated, by another airline under the agreement with a different flight code or number. The benefits of this arrangement are remarkably great and relieving to many clients facing demand peak problems at their favorite or preferred airlines (Wit & Meyer, p. 46 , 2010). It enables ease in connection of flights where a clear routing is established for customers. For example, a customer can book a flight under a specific code from location X to Z via point Y using the same flight code. This can further transcend to synchronizing their schedules and coordination of luggage handling which consequently translates to less-time consumption (Cento, p. 67, 2009).
There are differences between short and long distance markets in the airline industry. The short distance or short-haul markets, are characterized by clients travelling no longer than 800 Kilometers (500 mi) or taking less than 90 minutes to complete the distance. The long distance or long haul flights entail flights that mostly use over7 hours to cover . The two usually use different flight plans, which factor in costs and the routes used. The short distance market is mostly less populated as compared to the long distance market. This is because under the short distance category the market can easily substitute means of transport as compared to the long distance market.
Airport capacity influences many factors in the airline industry. A low capacity airport translates to delays and overcrowding of passengers and cargo. For example, the London Heathrow airport, which was originally designed to cater for 55 million passengers on annual basis, used to face these problems (Bowman & Simons, p. 114, 2009). This was, however, remedied by the introduction of an extra terminal, Terminal 5, increasing the capacity to 90 million passengers yearly (Belobaba et al, 2009).
Other factors that play a big role in the depeaking of traffic in the airlines industry is the introduction large craft models such as the Airbus A380 (Vasigh, Fleming & Tacker, p. 31, 2013). The increased use of these aircrafts means less aircrafts in the runway and more clients travelling at the same time. Another factor is the use of mixed mode approach in the runways where aircrafts are allowed on the same airline to take off and land.
For London Heathrow Airport, prepare tables showing the evolution of traffic peaks on a monthly, day of the week, and hour of the day basis over a recent 10-year period. Compare the 1st , 5th and 10th years of the period.
Civil Aviation Authority (n. d.). UK Airport Statistics
(Civil Aviation Authority (n. d.). UK Airport Statistics)
The first year 2003 was marked with a moderate traffic that was easily manageable by the London Heathrow airport with annual passenger traffic of 55 million passengers (Andrew &Kiring, p. 75, 2012). The travel traffic was not as pronounced as it is right now. The cost of operations and global movement then was also relatively high compared to the latter years of this decade.
The fifth year, 2007 was marked by an increase in passenger traffic, particularly in the long haul flights for different global airlines. The short-haul distance market was rather lukewarm due to charges leveled on them due to the 6. 5% economic inflation then (Andrew & Kiring, p. 76, 2012).
The tenth year marked a drop in traffic due to the inclusion of the fifth terminal at the airport that was efficient at taming the crowding effect. This has released pressure from the various terminal facilities in at the London Heathrow airport. It is anticipated that this terminal has the ability of raising the capacity of the airport to 90 million passengers from 55 million that was the capacity by the year 2008.
Andrew . F. &Kiring J. Air transport and operations: Proceedings of the third International Air Transport and Operations Symposium 2012. (2012).
Belobaba, P., Odoni, A. R., & Barnhart, C. (2009). The global airline industry. Chichester, U. K: Wiley.
Bowman, M., & Simons, G. (2011). London’s Airports. Barnsley, Sth. Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Aviation.
Cento, A. (2009). The airline industry: Challenges in the 21st century. Heidelberg: Physica-Verlag.
Civil Aviation Authority (n. d.). UK Airport Statistics. Retrieved November 25, 2013, from http://www. caa. co. uk/default. aspx? catid= 80&pagetype= 88&pageid= 3&sglid= 3
Delfmann, W. (2005). Strategic management in the aviation industry. Cologne: Kölner Wissenschaftsverlag.
Doherty, S. (2008). Heathrow’s Terminal 5: History in the making. Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons.
Vasigh, B., Fleming, K., & Tacker, T. (2013). Introduction to air transport economics: From theory to applications. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.
Wit, B., & Meyer, R. (2010). Strategy: Process, content, context ; an international perspective. Andover, Hampshire: Cengage Learning.