You are here: Home / Query Indicator Data / Transportation Sustainability / Proximity to Airports Suitable for C-5 Aircraft

Proximity to Airports Suitable for C-5 Aircraft

Sustainability Issue:



Proximity to Airports Suitable for C-5 Aircraft (TR2)


Suitability for C-5 Aircraft, Mile Buffers





Data Sources:

AirNav.Com. (2003). "Airports". (complete list of airport codes).

Digital Aeronautical Flight Information File, National Imagery and Mapping Agency. (2005). DAFIF Edition 6. Bethesda, Maryland.

Terminal Area Forecast System, Federal Aviation Administration. (2006). Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB. Unclassified Corporate Database. (

United States General Accounting Office, Report to Congressional Committees. (1994). Military Airlift: Comparison of C-5 and C-17 Airfield Availability. National Security and International Affairs Division. Washington, DC.



Not all aircraft types have the capability to land at every airfield due to runway strength, runway size, and runway type. Landing requirements will also vary, whether it is based on wartime or peacetime criteria. According to the July 1994 General Accounting Office (GAO) Report to Congressional Committees, Military Airlift: Comparison of C-5 and C-17 Airfield Availability the C-5 aircraft can land on a paved runway 5,000 feet long by 90 feet wide during wartime, while normal performance is defined as landing on a paved runway 6,000 feet long by 147 feet wide (USGAO, 1994).

Access to a C-5 capable runway is typically a necessity for military shipments, mobilization, and training. If access is inadequate (measured by geographical distance), then it is a strong indicator of pressures on the future use and vulnerability of air space, leading to greater demands and limitations on Military development and missions. This would then place the military installation in a vulnerable state, affecting the type and intensity of training that could take place on the installation.

The DoD has identified a need to augment military airfields with access to commercial airports (USGAO, 1994). Often it is unnecessary to duplicate the provisions of a nearby civilian airport on a military airfield. Thus, identification of commercial airports suitable for C-5 aircraft is a highly sought after indicator. Specifically, this indicator provides suitability for C-5 aircraft at all commercial airports receiving Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) contract tower and radar service within a prescribed distance. Thus, not all U.S. commercial airports are tracked for C-5 suitability. It is recommended to have an understanding of which airports near the installation in question are not included in the study.



This indicator could be replicated every year based on information updated in FAA's Terminal Area Forecast (TAF) System and Scott AFB's Airport Search Database (TAF, 2006)



Download complete airport GIS boundary files from the Digital Aeronautical Flight Information File (DAFIF) at (DAFIF, 2005). These boundary files include all active civil, military, joint (civil and military), and private airports for the world. Delete all non-U.S. airports for the purposes of this indicator, keeping only civil, joint, and private airports in the U.S.

Download C-5 suitability airport data from the TAF System at (TAF, 2006). As previously mentioned, TAF does not track all U.S. commercial airports. Therefore, it is critical to use local knowledge when interpreting this indicator. Further local information may be obtained from the DAFIF airport boundary files or at provides the 3-letter codes for all airports (e.g. ORD for Chicago O'Hare International Airport) by airport type and/or geographic location (AirNav.Com, 2003). Airfield information is obtainable from the Air Mobility Command (Scott AFB) to determine whether each airfield is suitable for specific types of aircraft (i.e., C-141B, C-5, C-130, C-17, KC-10, KC-135, and C-9) (TAF, 2006).

Import the TAF commercial airport data into a GIS program and join it with the DAFIF airports boundary files by airport code to create an Airport Suitability for C-5 Aircraft indicator layer. Create "buffers" around these airports at 5 and 25 miles to form vulnerability classifications.


Indicator Measure:

Airport Suitability for C-5 Aircraft classifications were defined as follows.


Very Low Vulnerability
Within 5 miles of a C-5 Aircraft Suitable Airport
Low Vulnerability N/A
Moderate Vulnerability Within 25  but greater than 5 miles of a C-5 Aircraft Suitable Airport
Vulnerable N/A
High Vulnerability Greater than 25 miles of a C-5 Aircraft Suitable Airport



Installations typically have only one commercial airport located within a 25-mile radius. However, several installations do have two or more airports located within 25 miles. In this instance, an installation takes on the airport classification of the closest airport. For instance, if an installation were located within 5 miles of one airport and within 25 miles of another airport, the installation would be classified as very low vulnerability.

Document Actions