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Aviation Forecasts

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Advisory Circular 150/5070‐6B “Airport Master Plans” states that: “Forecasts of future levels of aviation activity are the basis for effective decisions in airport planning. These projections are used to determine the need for new or expanded facilities.” To establish a basis for quantifying aeronautical facilities and procedures, forecasts include a definition of the type (passenger/cargo service and general aviation/corporate) and level of activity over a specific planning horizon.

The forecast level of activity established for an airport with passenger and cargo service includes the number of expected passengers to be transported and the amount (weight) of air cargo carried by a specific “critical” aircraft.  In defining general aviation and corporate aviation needs, forecasts of aircraft operations (take-offs and landings), annual instrument approaches conducted, fueling needs and expectations on aircraft maintenance and storage requirements is documented.

Forecast activities are usually defined in short-, medium- and long-term periods.  In addition certain forecasts of passengers and aircraft operations may need to be refined to quantify forecasts during peak operational periods.  Some of the factors that influence forecasts include socio-economic data, regional demographic characteristics, geographic attributes (distance, climate) and other external factors.
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