Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Aviation is an important aspect to the global society. Improving efficiency within aviation is an area that needs continued research. The national airspace’s efficiency requires performance models optimizing usage. One metric able to measure usage is through runway occupancy time. This study looks at the impact on runway occupancy times from two independent factors. The first factor is the difference between Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) aircraft and Visual Flight Rules (VFR) aircraft. The second factor of the study deals with the influence of aircraft type on runway occupancy times. This second factor looks at the runway occupancy time with respect to specific aircraft and aircraft in their runway separation category. These aircraft are the Pilatus PC-12, the Cessna Corvalis, the Cirrus SR-22, and the Piaggio Avanti. Data collection occurred at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (KBJC) in Broomfield, Colorado, with a computer program that stored various times into a database. The stored times allowed a runway occupancy time to be calculated for each operation. The data analysis showed statistically significant results in two areas. The first area analyzed that showed significant difference was IFR departures. The area showing significance within flight rules were category I and category II aircraft. For aircraft categories, single engine propeller driven aircraft that weigh less than 12,500 pounds are category I aircraft; twin engine propeller driven aircraft weighing less than 12,500 pounds are category II aircraft (Federal Aviation Administration, 2009). All other aircraft are category III aircraft (Federal Aviation Administration, 2009). Also, IFR departures overall were different from VFR departures. With aircraft types, the PC-12 was found to be different from other category I aircraft on departure. On arrivals, the Piaggio Avanti was significantly different from other category II arrivals. Future research could be conducted on the impact of flight rules on runway occupancy times to determine if it is just aircraft speed leading to the differences or if flight rules truly affect runway occupancy time. In addition, the Piaggio Avanti needs to further study to see if it should remain a category II aircraft, or if it ought to move to category III.