The Air Transportation System

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The demand for aviation transportation has never been greater with airports playing a key role in the overall success of the air transportation system and for over 40 years the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has listed over 5,000 public use airports as being important to the public need for aviation services (Young & Wells, 2011, p. 10). Because of the total number of airports currently operating within the United States, there needs to be a way to categorize the airports currently in use, in order to better provide funding and to understand were each one fits into the air transportation system. In an effort to better identify the growth in the overall enplanements, The National Plan of Integrated Airports Systems (NPIAS) currently groups airports as: Primary airports, Commercial Service airports, General Aviation airports and Reliever airports (Young & Wells, 2011, p. 11).
Commercial service airports account for roughly 522 airports in operation and have at least 2,500 enplaned passengers per calendar year along with operating scheduled air carrier service both domestically and internationally utilizing certificated airlines. The main goal of the commercial service airports is to move the most number of passengers and cargo through the …show more content…

However, the daily activity at each primary airport can vary with most handling only a small amount of daily operations caused primarily because of commercial airline’s hub and spoke system most passengers are routed through only a small number of larger airports which will eventually deliver them to their final destination. The hub and spoke system operated by air carriers has resulted in the NPIAS further subcategorizing primary airports in to hubs based on the number of enplaned passengers (Young & Wells, 2011, p.

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