An Econometric Study of Flight Delay Causes at O’Hare International Airport

Nathan Daniel Boettcher, Dr. Don Thompson*, Pepperdine University

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Abstract: This study examined the relationship between sources of delay and the level of delay at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Measuring delay as an aggregation of minutes wasted, rather than a percentage of total on-time flights, led us to conclude that diminishing individual airlines’ contributions to delay would be ineffective in decreasing the aggregate minutes delayed. Our results suggest that policies aimed at reducing delays due to late arriving aircraft would be the most efficacious in lowering the minutes delayed at O’Hare. This result also proposes that further study is required on how to diminish the contribution of a specific source of delay, as opposed to targeting delay as a concept at large.

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