National Airspace System:

Summary of Flight Delay Trends for 34 Airports in the Continental United States (GAO-10-543SP, May 26, 2010), an E-supplement to GAO-10-542

GAO-10-543SP: Published: May 26, 2010. Publicly Released: May 26, 2010.

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Susan A. Fleming
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This document is an e-supplement to GAO-10-542. It provides information on airline flight delays from calendar years 2000 through 2009 for the 34 airports identified in the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Operational Evolution Partnership (OEP) program and located in the continental United States. These 34 airports serve major metropolitan areas and in 2008 handled over 70 percent of passengers in the system. According to FAA, many of the current delays of air traffic can be traced to inadequate capacity relative to demand at these airports. Within FAA's Aviation System Performance Metrics (ASPM) database, a flight is recorded as delayed if it departed or arrived at the gate 15 minutes or more past its scheduled gate departure or arrival time, which is shown in the airline's reservation system. Using FAA's ASPM data, we analyzed trends in the number of total and delayed arrivals and departures and average delay minutes per delayed arrival for each of these 34 OEP airports and as an average for these airports for calendar years 2000 through 2009. Using DOT's Airline Service Quality Performance (ASQP) data, we present the airline-reported sources of delay for delayed and canceled flights for each of these 34 OEP airports and as an average for these airports for calendar year 2009. Since FAA's ASPM data are not finalized until approximately 90 days after the end of the fiscal year, the data for the last 3 months of calendar year 2009 (October, November, and December) are current as of February 26, 2010, and are subject to change.