News / Press Releases

SAS Institute (Pty) Limited
Central Street, Houghton, 2198
Tel: +27 11 713-3400
Fax: +27 11 713-3401
http://www.sas.com/sa

Press Release

Printer-Friendly Printer-Friendly

News

 

FAA researcher uses SAS® Analytics to forecast delays

Evaluates efforts to reduce delays in the National Airspace System

CARY, NC  (12 Apr. 2011)  – Delayed air travelers looking to blame someone – anyone – might be interested in what Tony Diana says. A researcher at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Diana uses SAS Analytics to determine the causes and impacts of flight delays on airlines, airports and the National Airspace System. 

Diana's research spotlights delay as a pivotal component of airport and airline performance. Because delays are random, it is difficult for airlines to anticipate them and for airports to manage them before congestion reduces the efficiency of the National Airspace System. The air travel industry and FAA collect massive amounts of data on delays, providing rich opportunities for data mining and forecasting.

"Busy airline and airport executives need to make quick sense of volumes of data," said Diana. "Policymakers also need a clear picture of the situation at hand to assess the potential impact of their decisions. Both rely on analysts to identify trends, provide data that support tactical and strategic decisions, and distill complex details into meaningful relationships." 

Diana used SAS to benchmark the efficiency of the largest 35 airports. He uses tools commonly applied in other industries such as medicine, finance or even psychology to better understand delays and their factors.

"Airline practitioners know how airports function, but they can't always quantify the likely impact of individual factors on airport delay and congestion. Runway configuration, available capacity, tarmac operations and especially weather conditions at each facility also influence airlines' on-time performance," said Diana. 

Diana uses SAS® Enterprise Miner™, among other SAS technologies, for his analyses. SAS Enterprise Miner streamlines data mining to create predictive and descriptive models based on analysis of vast amounts of data from across the enterprise. Innovative organizations are using SAS data mining software to detect fraud, minimize risk, anticipate resource demands, increase response rates for marketing campaigns and curb customer attrition.

"The power of SAS is to enable analysts to discover trends and to predict likely occurrences through sophisticated analytical tools. For instance, the variance of block times, the time between a plane leaving the gate at the departure airport and entering the gate at the arrival airport, is a good predictor of schedule reliability and delays," continues Diana. "In addition, the integration of different perspectives under the same roof is instrumental to understanding complex relationships between demand and capacity, helping analysts provide optimal recommendations to policymakers." 

Diana's findings do not reflect the opinion of the FAA or the Office of Aviation Policy and Plans. This release does not represent an endorsement of SAS or its products.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. With innovative business applications supported by an enterprise intelligence platform, SAS helps 50,000 organizations improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world The Power to Know® .

Back to Recent SAS Press Releases

Copyright © SAS Institute Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Editorial Contacts:

  • SAS

    Trent Smith (919) 531-4726

  • SAS South Africa

    Jennifer Meyer
    jennifer.meyer@zaf.sas.com
    SAS Institute Johannesburg
    Tel: +27 11 713-3400
    Fax: +27 11 713-3401