Airport Modernization

February 22, 1967

Report Outline
Thickening of Traffic at Air Terminals
System of Airports in United States
Proposals for Improving the System
Special Focus

Thickening of Traffic at Air Terminals

Americans in ever-increasing numbers are taking to the airways on scheduled airliners, private business planes, and pleasure and training craft. The rapid growth of air passenger travel has placed heavy strain on ground and terminal facilities and dangerously increased congestion in the air over major cities. Alan S. Boyd, former chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board who has been named Secretary of the new Department of Transportation, told the Senate Commerce Committee on Jan. 11 that the country was “approaching a crisis stage” in the problem of airport congestion. Boyd added that he expected the administration to develop a major program to deal with the effects of this mounting accumulation of air traffic.

Continuing Increase in All Kinds of Air Traffic

Preliminary figures for 1966, compiled by the Air Transport Association, show that the number of passengers carried by trunk and local airlines last year topped 100 million for the first time. The total reached 110 million, 16 per cent above the 1965 mark. Revenue passenger-miles of scheduled carriers rose to 80 billion, 16.5 per cent over the previous year. Furthermore, cargo ton-miles for the scheduled carriers increased 29 per cent.

Increased passenger travel, for all segments of the airline industry, is illustrated by the table on the next page. In the decade from 1955–1965, the number of passengers carried by scheduled airlines more than doubled. The rate of increase rose sharply after 1962. The average annual growth rate from 1957 to 1962 was 7 per cent, but since the latter year the rate has averaged more than 16 per cent. Both the industry and the federal government expect this phenomenal growth to continue. Projections issued by the Federal Aviation Agency In December 1965 indicated that by fiscal 1971 “United States airlines [would] fly a total of 113 billion revenue passenger-miles and nearly 160 million passengers in scheduled domestic and international service.” Some industry observers think the F.A.A. forecast understated the situation. The number of passengers actually carried in 1966 exceeded the 1965 forecast by 2.3 million, and the revenue passenger-miles by 8 million.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Air Transportation
Jan. 18, 2019  Airline Industry Turbulence
May 15, 2015  Airline Safety
Oct. 18, 2013  Domestic Drones
Mar. 07, 2008  Future of the Airlines
Jun. 21, 2002  Future of the Airline Industry
Sep. 24, 1999  Airline Industry Problems
Oct. 08, 1993  Airline Safety
Oct. 24, 1986  Airline Deregulation
Oct. 19, 1984  Safety in the Air
Nov. 26, 1982  Troubled Air Transport Industry
Jun. 25, 1976  Air Safety
Mar. 21, 1975  Air-Fare Control
Jan. 27, 1971  Future of the Airlines
Sep. 10, 1969  Jumbo Jets: New Travel Era
Feb. 22, 1967  Airport Modernization
Mar. 18, 1964  Supersonic Transport Race
Feb. 07, 1962  Troubles of the Airlines
May 11, 1960  Prevention of Air Accidents
Sep. 17, 1958  Safety in the Air
May 23, 1956  Jet Age Problems
May 20, 1953  Safer Flying
Feb. 26, 1947  Air Safety
Jun. 08, 1944  Domestic Air Transportation
Apr. 08, 1944  International Air Transport
Mar. 02, 1939  Transatlantic Air Commerce
Jul. 14, 1927  Commercial Aeronautics
Jun. 20, 1925  Development of Commercial Air Navigation
Air Transportation