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Sun Oct 9 & Mon Oct 10 Outlook
Checking-in on post-Ian TSA volumes, digging a bit deeper on ORD's schedule change
Welcome to any new readers! And as a reminder to long-ish time readers, we’re testing a new format for these outlooks. To both old and new—we’re grateful you’re here.
If you have questions about the content of this outlook, the answers might be in this post (we keep adding to it). Otherwise, let us know if something doesn’t make sense (we welcome feedback of all kinds!).
Sunday, October 9
We forecast TSA will screen 2.370 million travelers (± 0.5σ, or a prediction interval of about 38%, is 2.31-2.43 million travelers).
After the Ian-influenced steep decline in 7-day screening volumes, TSA throughput has been quick to bounce back. Following Tuesday, the 7-day moving average sat at 2.01 million (its lowest level since early March); helped in part by yesterday’s 2.46 million screened (which would have been good for the third busiest Friday of the summer), the 7-day moving average has recovered to 2.13 million.
A relatively tranquil weather setup for our automated airports. LGA’s elevated probability owes to a curious October Sunday demand blip in the noon hour (jumps to 41 from a more typical 35 Monday-Friday).
Monday, October 10
We forecast TSA will screen 2.249 million travelers (± 0.5σ, or a prediction interval of about 38%, is 2.19-2.31 million travelers).
On Wednesday, we wrote about a new peak in the 6 p.m. hour that ORDis set to wrestle with this month. For Monday, the front depicted that drops down from Canada should have no sensible weather impacts—as a matter of fact, NWS Chicago writes, “splendid fall weather continues.”
With little in the way of weather to write about, we figured we’d spend a few more sentences on ORD’s October schedule. The new arrival peak (of 117 scheduled) exceeding optimal capacity (of 114) is doubly notable, given ORD’s status as a schedule facilitated airport (like EWR). So who might have played a little fast and loose with the FAA’s [quasi-voluntary] runway timings approval? Looks to be American, who re-banked their schedule, effective Thursday. The new schedule is actually 9% smaller week-over-week, with 4 banks (rather than the 6 in previous schedule). But in the re-banking, they effectively shifted the 7 p.m. arrival bank an hour earlier—which now sits on top of an existing United arrival bank. Correspondingly, departure activity in the 7 p.m. hour is also stimulated. We would advise to expect some consistent metering or miles-in-trail for arrivals in the 6 p.m. hour and healthy departure queues for departures in the 7 p.m. hour.
You can check outhourly estimates in this workbook.
Back to a thumbnail generated by AI, though we’re trying OpenAI’s DALL-E now that it’s out of its private beta. The prompt was “o'hare airport neon light tunnel between concourse b and concourse c, vaporware, cyberpunk”
While it links to a Google Sheet, it’s an Excel file and relies on the XLOOKUP function, which does not exist in Sheets. You can download the file and open in Excel, which should resolve the #NAME? error; if any readers don’t have Excel, let us know and we can work on a solution.