OPSNET: Airport Operations

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Airport Operations are arrivals and departures at an airport. The Airport Operation Count is a measure of activity at FAA-funded airports, including Federal Contract Towers (FTC). This activity includes IFR itinerant, VFR itinerant and local operations at the airport as reported by Air Traffic Control Towers (ATCTs). It does not include overflights.

The Airport Operation Count includes the following operations:

  • IFR and VFR Itinerant Operations: Operations by air carrier, air taxi, general aviation, and military aviation arriving from outside the airport traffic pattern or departing the airport traffic pattern. Operations are conducted either under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) or Visual Flight Rules (VFR).
  • Local Operations: Operations by civil and military aviation remaining in the local traffic pattern, simulated instrument approaches at the airport, including the following subcategories, and operations to or from the airport and a practice area within a 20−mile radius of the tower.
  1. Civil: All civilian operations, including local flights by air carrier and air taxi aircraft.
  2. Military: All classes of military operations.

Airport Operations are counted by the following facility types:

  • Type 1: tower without radar
  • Type 3: combination radar approach control and tower with radar (tower portion)
  • Type 4: combination nonradar approach control and tower without radar (tower portion)
  • Type 5: nonapproach control tower
  • Type 6: combined control facilities (tower portion)
  • Type 7: tower with radar
  • Type 11: Federal Contract Tower

For more information, see Definitions of Variables.

For detailed information about reports available for Airport Operations, see the following pages: