Essay Sample on JFK Airport Operations

2021-07-02 03:27:37
3 pages
796 words
Harvey Mudd College
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Airport Information

The chosen airport is John F. Kennedy international airport (JFK), which in most instances is referred to as simply JFK or Kennedy Airport. JFK is mainly the primary international airport that serves New York City (NYC). As such, being an international airport in one of the most recognized cities in the world, it is the busiest global air passenger gateway to the North American region. In fact, it is the fifth busiest airport in the U.S., and the busiest one in the NYC airport system, and handles many passengers (Port Authority of New York And New Jersey, 2016). According to the Port Authority of New York And New Jersey (2016) report, JFK had the most passengers, totaling 58.9 million, in 2016. Besides, the report also articulates that it had the most domestic and international travellers, amounting to 27.2 million and 31.7 million respectively in 2016. For this reason, it acts as an international and domestic airport, with over 90 airlines operating out of the airport, which conduct direct or non-stop flights to destinations in the six continents (JFK International Airport, n.d).

Operations Data and Peak Hour

The airport has numerous airport and tower operations. For instance, according to the report generated by the Air Traffic Activity System (ATADS) on the JFK facility, there was a total of 2,194,513 airport and 2,303,273 tower operations between January 2012 and January 2017. The information was obtained from the Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) ATADS records. In addition, the data was only obtained for tower operations because it was the only relevant data for the calculation of peak-month demand, as well as conducting the peak-hour analysis. The data was obtained by automatic generation from ATADS records using a variety of procedures, and the output was an Excel spreadsheet that detailed tower and airport operations at the JFK international airport.

From the Excel Spreadsheet, a series of graphs were generated detailing the tower operations on an annual basis. As such, each year had a peak month, as shown in the graphs below.


Figure 1: A graph showing the total monthly tower operations that occurred in 2012 at JFK international airport.

From figure one, it is clear that the peak month for the tower operations was in August.


Figure 2: A graph showing the total monthly tower operations that occurred in 2013 at JFK international airport.

From Figure 2, the 2013s peak month for tower operations at JFK was in July. For this reason, it can be deduced that the peak month of 2013 was early compared to that of 2012.


Figure 3: A graph showing the total monthly tower operations that occurred in 2014 at JFK international airport.

Figure 3 indicates that the peak month for the year 2014, just like in 2012, was August.


Figure 4: A graph showing the total monthly tower operations that occurred in 2015 at JFK international airport.


Figure 4 reveals that the peak month for 2015 was in July.

Figure 5: A graph showing the total monthly tower operations that occurred in 2016 at JFK international airport.

Figure 5 highlights that the peak month for the year 2016 was in August. For this reason, from the annual graphs, it is not possible to determine the peak month for the period between January 2012 and 2017. For this reason, working with the average tower operations for the five years will best determine the peak month, and can be calculated by adding the total tower operations for January 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, and then dividing the value by five. The process is repeated for the subsequent months. Obtaining a graph for the data will help determine the peak month between 2012 and 2016, which is presented below.

Average Peak Month Operations at JFK

Figure 6: A graph showing the total monthly tower operations that occurred in the 2012-2016 period at JFK international airport.

From figure 6, it can be derived that the peak month for the 2012-2016 period is August. It had the most tower operations averagely over the five years compared to any other month. As such, even though the period had July as the peak month in two years, August emerges as the month that has the most operations.

Tower Operations and Peak Hour Analysis

Since the month of August is the peak month in the period, the peak-month average day (PMAD) is 1/31 of the peak month operations. For this reason, it is calculated as 1/31*215,768, which equals to 6,960 operations. Since there is no operational data about the peak hour, it is assumed that the busiest hour is between 15% to 20% of PMAD. The peak hour using 15% is 1,044 operations while using 20% gives 1,392 operations between the 2012 and 2013 period.



John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport (n.d). Airlines. Retrieved from

The Port Authority of New Jersey and New York. (2016). Airport Traffic Report: John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Stewart International Airport, Atlantic City International Airport, and Teterboro Airport. Retrieved from


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