Delay Propagation

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Delay propagation occurs when a delay at a flight stage causes a ripple effect in the subsequent stages of a flight. Delays propagate into and out of an airport. Arrival delays are tracked at the end of each flight leg traveled by the same aircraft identified by a tail number.

in order to compute delay propagation, three conditions must be met simultaneously:

  • A flight arrives late at an airport.
  • A flight departs late in subsequent stages.
  • A flight arrives late at the next destination.

Data Sources

The primary source of information for Delay Propagation is the monthly Airline Service Quality Performance (ASQP) data provided by a group of selected carriers and compiled by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The ASQP data contain information about the flights (origins, destinations, carriers, equipment, flight numbers, Gate Out, Wheels Off, Wheels On, and Gate In times, causes of delay, and other relevant variables to the computation of propagated delays). Delay propagation also uses information from the following sources:

User Manual

View the Delay Propagation Manual for a detailed explanation of how to create reports based on Delay Propagation.


For a list of frequently asked questions, please see the FAQ.