Q. Sources of Airline Traffic Statistics

Answer

Sources of Airline Traffic Statistics

There are several ways to access the BTS airline traffic statistics.

Prepared Tables:

On the TranStats home page you can find some highlights such as domestic passengers, departures, load factor, top domestic routes, and carrier market share for the last 12 months. Click on "Airport Snapshots" or "Carrier Snapshots" under "Quick Answers" for an aggregation of the most recent data available for airlines and airports.

You can find monthly press releases with U.S. air carrier traffic statistics, including airport and airline rankings here.

The following publications can be downloaded through the BTS Bookstore. For a description of these publications, please click here.

Air Carrier Traffic Statistics (Green Book)
Air Carrier Industry Scheduled Service Traffic Statistics (Blue Book)
Airport Activity Statistics

Simple Search:

The simplest option is to use the "Customize Table" tool, which allows you to get basic monthly statistics for US carriers including passengers, departures, revenue passenger miles, available seat miles, revenue ton miles, etc.

This tool allows you to find scheduled-service traffic (passengers, flights, revenue passenger miles, available seat miles) data by carrier and airport.

Detailed Statistics

To access the raw data in TranStats, click on "Aviation" under "By Mode" on the left side.  This will give you a list of aviation databases, including the two main traffic databases, "Air Carrier Statistics (Form 41 Traffic)- All Carriers" and "Air Carrier Statistics (Form 41 Traffic)- U.S. Carriers."  Each database contains six T-100 tables:

T-100 Domestic Market
T-100 Domestic Segment
T-100 International Market
T-100 International Segment
T-100 Market (contains domestic and international data)
T-100 Segment (contains domestic and international data)

For information on the difference between Market and Segment, please click here.  

If you want to look at one or two fields (such as number of passengers by airport and carrier), click on the name of the database you want.  Then click "Analysis" next to the field you are interested in (such as "Passengers" or "Origin Airport Code").  You can click "Crosstabs" on the left to add another variable (using the "Filter Columns" menu) or click "Time Series" to see multiple years of data.  We advise using "Unique Carrier" for your airline field. You can use the "Search the Results" feature below the TranStats logo to narrow your search. Separate your search terms with commas. For example, the following searches will bring up airports in the New York City area:

LGA,JFK,EWR
la guardia,kennedy,newark
new york,newark

If you need to see more fields, such as origin, destination, and carrier, click on "Download" under the description of the database.  Use the "Filter Geography" menu to narrow down your state (or country) of origin/destination and use the "Filter Year" and "Filter Period" menus to narrow down the time period.  Next, click the boxes beside the fields you want to see.  Remember to select a field such as Passengers, Freight, or Mail, along with any other fields you need, such as origin and carrier. 

Bear in mind that airlines file this data by month, origin, destination, service class and aircraft type (for segment), so there will be a separate row in the download for each of these variables.  Unless you filter by geography or month, the file you download may be too large to open in your database program (depending on which version you have).  You will need to extract it to your computer and open it with a program such as Microsoft Access, SPSS or SAS.

For instructions on how to open the file in Microsoft Access and aggregate the data using queries, please click here.

If you are interested in RPMs, RTMs, ASMs, etc. for US carriers but don't need them by origin and destination, you may want to use the Air Carrier Summary Data, which is an aggregated version of the T-100 data.  It also includes some military and foreign-to-foreign flights by US Carriers which are not available in the T-100 data.  Go back to the TranStats Aviation Databases page and follow these steps:

Click on "Air Carrier Summary Data (Form 41 and 298C Summary Data)." 

Select Schedule T-1 (monthly), T-2 or T-3 (quarterly).  T-1 and T-2 have Revenue Passenger Miles, Available Seat Miles, Revenue Ton Miles, Available Ton Miles, etc. without airport data.  T-2 also has fuel consumption data.  T-3 has origin airport data, which is only available after 3 years.  Schedule T-1 goes back to 1974.  This data is aggregated, unlike the T-100 data, so there aren't so many rows to deal with.  Again, this includes US Carriers only.

If you would prefer to purchase the data rather than download and calculate it yourself (especially for complicated or time-consuming jobs) you may want to contact one of the commercial data services that provide BTS airline data to their customers.

Disclaimer: These private-sector sites and/or companies are not necessarily recommended, maintained, or endorsed by the US DOT or any US Government office. We offer these suggestions strictly as a convenience, should you be interested in exploring their services.

To learn which carriers file traffic statistics, follow this link. Reporting requirements can be found in 14 CFR 241.

More information about US air carrier statistics can be found by searching on "Air Carrier" in the FAQ knowledgebase.

  • Last Updated Dec 13, 2016
  • Views 6
  • Answered By David Martin

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