Airport Capacity Imbalance Study

Published: 28 October 2020

Available runways at a given airport, together with their relative disposition, length, navigational aids, environmental constraints and local meteorological conditions (wind rouse, visibility,…) can result in very different operating conditions, with a direct impact on the capacity of the airport and the operational performance.

This study intends to evaluate the potential capacity and performance imbalance between these operating conditions, through the identification of runway configurations and the analysis of the difference in capacity and performance associated with the probability of each configuration.

Airport Capacity Imbalance Study

Given the lack of consistent capacity and runway configuration information, the analysis uses a data driven descriptive model that focuses on the available data in the Airport Operator Data Flow (APDF) managed by the PRU, for the calendar year 2019. The APDF is currently established for 90 airports in Europe and it includes, amongst other extensive data for every flight, the runway time (that is, take off time for departures and landing time for arrivals) for every movement, the type of movement (arrival or departure) and the runway used. This data allows for an approach that addresses the key elements of this study:

  • Identification of operated runway configurations and their share.
  • Capacity per runway configuration, taking the peak service rate as proxy.
  • Operational performance associated to the runway configuration, based on established ANS performance indicators at airports.

This paper presents the results of this study, from the methodology followed for the identification of runway configurations and the indicators developed to assess the potential imbalance, to the detailed results obtained for each of the 90 airports analysed.

Document download
Airport Capacity Imbalance Study
Summary of Response to draft Airport Capacity Imbalance Study

Stakeholder consultation

Stakeholders were invited to provide their comments on the draft version of this Technical Note. The feedback received, together with the response/action resulting from it, is summarised in the Summary of Responses document (see Document download table).


This report has been produced on behalf of the independent Performance Review Commission (PRC). The PRC was established by the Permanent Commission of EUROCONTROL in accordance with the ECAC Institutional Strategy 1997. One objective of this strategy is to introduce a strong, transparent and independent performance review and target setting system to facilitate more effective management of the European ATM system, encourage mutual accountability for system performance.


The PRC has made every effort to ensure that the information and analysis contained in this document are as accurate and complete as possible. Despite these precautions, should you find any errors or inconsistencies we would be grateful if you could please bring them to the Aviation Intelligence Units attention.