Modeling the External Risks of Airports for Policy Analysis

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Despite the improving safety record of commercial aviation over the last decades, crashes still occur. These include the October 1992 crash of an El Al freight airliner into an apartment building near Amsterdam, killing more than 40 people and motivating the study behind this report. While airports and airlines in Western Europe undergo expansion and consolidation, the opening of Eastern Europe has increased the number of East-West flights, added new airlines, and forced potentially dangerous interfaces between East-West air control systems, differing aircraft maintenance and training standards, and aircraft of different technological capability. This report describes the mathematical model SAGE-A (Safety Assessment of the Ground Environment of Airports), which was developed as a general tool to evaluate the crash risk to populations living in close proximity to airports and to evaluate various policy options for mitigating this risk.

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