Michael O. Ball

Funding Agency

Federal Aviation Administration




This is a two-year contract to enhance the Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool (SARLAT).

SARLAT is a computer-based tool used for assisting airport planners and designers in predicting runway length requirements for a variety of small aircraft under various design conditions. The tool can determine the runway length required at user-specified payloads, or can determine the maximum payload that can be carried by aircraft using an existing runway (or shortened runway during construction). SARLAT also calculates the additional length of runway required for air taxi operations under operative safety regulations.

The data used to develop the SARLAT analysis is from aircraft manufacturer published pilot operating handbooks and aircraft flight manuals. Detailed takeoff and landing performance data is included in the tool for 42 aircraft which make up 51% of the aircraft in the 2021 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aircraft registry:

• 19 single-engine piston-powered aircraft
• Nine twin-engine piston-powered aircraft
• Nine turboprop-powered aircraft
• Five turbofan-powered aircraft with maximum takeoff weights less than 20,200 pounds

SARLAT provides an enhanced method for runway length design compared to the current and outdated small aircraft nomographs in FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5325-4B, “Runway Length Requirements for Airport Design.” The AC’s nomographs for small fixed-wing aircraft are outdated given the performance of modern small aircraft, particularly following the introduction and significant growth in operations by single-engine turboprops such as the Pilatus PC12 and Cessna C208.