how to estimate the number of take-offs in the heathrow airport each day

Market sizing
New answer on Nov 12, 2020
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Youjie Huang asked on Nov 10, 2020

Many thanks!

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Ian
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replied on Nov 10, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi Youjie!

You can do either top-down or bottom-up here.

Top-Down

Population of London/Surrounding areas residents...subset of which would be flying in/out

PLUS population of daily visitors (business / tourist)

# passengers per plan

Viola...# planes required per day...cut that in half to get take-offs only

Bottom-up

When you've been to a large airport, how many takeoffs have you see on the board at one time?

How many per hour?

How many peak hours per day?

How many non-peak hours per day and what % of peak would this be?

Is Heathrow probably larger or smaller than this sample airport (multiple by that factor)

And again, voila!

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Henning
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replied on Nov 10, 2020
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

There are certainly many ways how to estimate this. The most intuitive that comes to my mind is calculating total capacity:

  • Heathrow has 2 runways - you might remember the public discussions around the permits for a 3rd one. This tells you (a) the number, and (b) that the 2 runways operate at capacity
  • Calculate the max capacity based on 2 runways and one flight every x minutes. You might remember sitting in a plane, waiting for take off and seeing one plane after the other in line for the run way -> so assume one flight every 2 minutes
  • This gives you 30 flights per hour and runway in 24 hours, or a total of 1440 flights. You might reduce that number by assuming a slightly longer time between take offs between midnight and 6am or so. Maybe half the density during that time, so reduce the number by 1/8th. This gives you 1260.

Googling wha the actual number is (although of course irrelevant, because it's about the approach, not the result): ~1300. So the estimation was pretty close ;)

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Youjie Huang on Nov 11, 2020

thanks! Henning

Adi
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replied on Nov 10, 2020
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey, why not post your structure & approach and coaches can comment.

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Youjie Huang on Nov 11, 2020

haha, I will

Clara
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replied on Nov 12, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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