• The Impact of Snowfall on Airport Operations and Delays

      Lee, Jukwan; Yan, Jia (2019-03-31)
      Flight delays or cancelations due to snowfall are a costly inconvenience, not only to airports but also to airlines, passengers and society as a whole. However, no quantitative research has ever been done to provide an analytical explanation about the issue. Though being a reliable alternative to melt snow on the runway and mitigate flight delays, the Heated Pavement System is not adopted in any US airports because of concerns over the initial investments and maintenance costs being higher than the economic loss from delays during unpredictable snowfall days. Combining weather and domestic flight data in Boston and Los Angeles regions, we analyze the benefits and costs associated with installing the Heated Pavement System. Using two advanced econometric methods, the Difference in Difference in Difference (DDD) and the nearest neighbor matching, we first develop a Delay Analysis model to evaluate the exact effect of snowfall on flight delays, and then we calculate the delay costs. Based on the empirical findings, we conduct cost-benefit analysis of installing HPS at the three airports in Boston area. Our results indicate that HPS is feasible for airports with a great number of flights and passengers, such as Boston Logan airport.