One of the most important operational characteristics of an airport is the length of its longest runway, as this is a key factor in determining the types of aircraft that can use the airport and whether or not these aircraft can operate at their maximum capabilities. Runway length is also important from a cost perspective, because, in general, the longer the runway, the greater the cost to maintain it. Runway length requirements often are difficult to determine for general aviation (GA) aircraft, due to limited and outdated guidance. For example, FAA Advisory Circular 150/5325-4B has not been updated in nearly 15 years and only provides runway length charts for families of common GA aircraft.
The objective of this research is to develop guidance to help practitioners calculate runway length requirements for airports serving GA aircraft, focusing on the fleet with maximum takeoff weights of 12,500 pounds or less.