Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Committee Member

Shashi S. Nambisan

Second Committee Member

Mohamed Kaseko

Number of Pages



Scheduled air transportation is required to provide a service that is safe, consistent, and dependable, with reliable trip times and delays managed within acceptable limits. High trip time variability and delay in the current system are driven by multiple factors; The study objectives were: (1) to develop a comprehensive database for individual major U.S. airline domestic trips between 1995 and 2005; (2) to explore the central tendency and variability of airline gate-to-gate trip times and delays; (3) to develop values for unconstrained, or unimpeded, trip times, and (4) to develop traveler and airline delay and variability costs relative to unimpeded trip times; The research used U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) data for scheduled domestic airline trips reported by major U.S. air carriers between 1995 and 2005. For valuing air carrier cost savings, this research estimated variable costs for individual trips, based on individual carrier financial reports to U.S. DOT; The research used reported trip times as a primary indicator, unimpeded trip times as a reference, and attached a cost to the excess of reported trip time over unimpeded trip time at the individual flight level. This approach represents a process for evaluating the time savings and operating cost impacts of measures for increasing capacity and reducing impedance in U.S. domestic scheduled air transportation; Areas in which trip time variability and delay impose a high penalty on travelers and airlines were identified. The most important study results concerned disproportionately higher delays and costs relative to: (1) origin and destination airports and corridors; (2) times of day; and (3) the days with highest delays. The main areas were arrivals and departures at leading airports (40 percent of flights and 55 percent of costs), flight departures and arrivals between noon and early evening (50 percent of flights and 60 percent of costs), and during the 40 percent of days in which there were heavy system wide delays (55 percent of costs) costs appropriate to time changes on individual trips, the magnitude of penalties incurred by impeded trips were estimated relative to unimpeded trips. These were: 150 million annual excess traveler hours per year; {dollar}8 billion annual excess air carrier operating costs; with 400 million annual gallons of excess jet fuel consumption. The costs of impeded trips added about 10 percent (or about {dollar}3.4 billion annually) to airline variable operating costs during the study period.


Air; Air Transportation; Airlines; Examination; Time; Transportation; Trip; Trip Time; Variability

Controlled Subject

Civil engineering; Operations research; Transportation

File Format


File Size

4157.44 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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