This study focuses on the long-debated question of “fly or drive” by comparing the economic costs associated with the value of employee time. Driving, flying on small aircraft, and airline travel methods are compared. The top 31 Purdue Turbine Flight Operations (TFO) routes from January 1, 2009 to January 1, 2010 were used for analysis. Cirrus SR-20 and Embraer Phenom 100 aircraft were analyzed versus driving and airline travel when booked 3 days or two weeks in advance. The study concludes with a hypothetical university case study. With consideration taken to ensure use of accurate university figures, an economic decision-making tool is created, and a framework for future studies is formed. Results lend an insight to the importance of time and accurate measure of actual employee worth instead of productivity en route when deciding among certain modes of transportation. They also demonstrate the concept of practical use of university aircraft as a transportation tool for university employees.


SATS, Small Aircraft Transportation, Economic Value of Employee Time, Aviation, Transportation, Economic Comparison, Ground Transportation, Airline Transportation, Cirrus, Phenom

Date of this Version



Aviation Technology

Department Head

Dr. Brent Bowen

Month of Graduation


Year of Graduation



Master of Science in Technology

Head of Graduate Program

Dr. Richard Fanjoy

Advisor 1 or Chair of Committee

Denver Lopp

Committee Member 1

Dr. Thomas Carney

Committee Member 2

Michael Suckow