Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Airport Traffic Count Validation and Recommendations

Both towered and non-towered airports need accurate counts of aircraft operations for use in planning, environmental analysis, project justification, and funding and staffing requirements. Tower operation counts offer limited details and towers are often staffed for only portions of each day, which may lead to undercounts. Meanwhile, non-towered airports have traditionally had to estimate activity using either ratios that translate based aircraft to operations or sampling techniques.  More recently, as documented in ACRP Report 129: Evaluating Methods for Counting Aircraft Operations at Non-Towered Airports, acoustical counters, sound-level meters, security/trail cameras, and video image detection have also been used.  Now, with the FAA requiring aircraft operating into certain airspace to be equipped with ADS-B, equipment has been developed to use ADS-B data to estimate activity at an airport.  Several alternative ADS-B–related technologies are available, and because many state governments and airports are spending tens of thousands of dollars to purchase and install equipment, it is important to review the accuracy of these technologies, including how they might account for aircraft operations that are not using ADS-B. The objective of this research is to review various technologies and approaches for estimating air traffic activity using ADS-B, including accuracy and detail (e.g., aircraft type, operational mode) and provide guidelines for identifying the equipment specifications most relevant for differing airport sizes and environments.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $400000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 10-35

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Griffin, Matthew

  • Start Date: 20220815
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01854719
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 10-35
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 16 2022 2:39PM