Under IFR, what is the capacity of 2 near parallel runways and how does it compare to mixed mode single runway?

  • $\begingroup$ When a aircraft takes of and land on a single runway, the runway is operating at mixed mode. I am asking about maximum aircraft operation on a mixed mode single runway, vs a near parallel runway under IFR. Under IFR rule for near parallel runway, one is dedicated for landing and the other for take off. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


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There are two key performance indicators that are used to measure the key performance area 'airport capacity':

  1. Peak arrival [declared] capacity
  2. Peak arrival throughput.

  • What is the capacity of 2 near parallel runways?

It depends if the 2 runways are operated in mixed or segregated mode.

For the US, the two active runway case average value (47) is influenced by the ability to operate in mixed mode with independent runways for Tampa (TPA) and Portland (PDX). Otherwise the grouping is more comparable.

The average is between 40-47 arrivals per hour depending on the mode of operation, the higher value being influenced by the mixed mode operation.

  • How does it compare to mixed mode single runway?

Single runway is 29-30 arrivals per hour. So we are looking at a 33-50% increase.

Declared and IFR

I'd be careful with the interpretation (since you tagged it IFR), because one of the reasons you see a larger gap between the declared and actual for the US compared to Europe is because in the US the capacity is typically declared based on visual meteorological conditions. This is discussed here:

Source of graph and quotations: Comparison of Air Traffic Management-Related Operational Performance: U.S./Europe, 2015, eurocontrol.int (.pdf inside .zip).

  • $\begingroup$ Lets take an example. What is the ballpark capacity of Shanghai Pudong vs Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 8:24
  • $\begingroup$ @TayWeeWen - 4 runways vs 2? Ballpark is 74 vs 40 based on the graph I attached. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 10:58

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