An Inquiry into the Link Between Air Transport and Employment in Norway
S Bråthen , Molde University College and Molde Research Institute, NO; S Johansen and J I Lian, Institute of Transport Economics, NO
This paper discusses the methods and the findings from a study of the Norwegian air transport system, which was finished in January 2006. The study focuses on the link between air transport and employment.
In recent years, there has been a growing attention towards the link between airports and economic development. Air transport may be regarded as an economic activity in itself, where the resulting employment effects can be measured as direct, indirect, induced and catalytic impacts derived from airport activities. These effects have been the concern of numerous studies, where the employment multipliers show a quite diversified picture of the link between airport activities and regional employment. Some of these variations may be due to differences in economic linkages in the airport regions, while others may be due to the use of methods and data. The catalytic effects are of particular interest because they indicate air transport and airports as catalytic agents stimulating economic activity in industries that are not directly derived from or connected to the air transport activities. In other words, catalytic effects indicate how access to air transport may act as a prerequisite for economic activities. There are reasons to believe that these effects are significant, and that they may be even more important that the impacts derived from the air transport activities by means of the more ?classical? multiplier effects.
The airport network for scheduled air transport in Norway consists of 26 short take-off and landing airports, and 15 full length runway airports. The number of passengers arrived-/departed on domestic routes amounted to approximately 19 millions in 2005. Given a population of 4.5 millions, Norwegians are among the most frequent flyers in Europe. The airport system has been used as a policy means for maintaining regional balance and to ensure viable conditions for the exporting industry, which is mainly located in remoter areas.
This paper sets out to discuss the methods and the findings from a study of the Norwegian air transport system, which was finished in January 2006. To shed light on the link between air transport and employment, the paper is organised as follows: First, a critical survey and discussion of results from international studies is given. Second, the definitions and conceptions of employment measures are presented. Third, the methods and results of the analyses of direct, indirect, induced and catalytic employment are presented and discussed in the light of the international experiences. A pilot study of catalytic effects will be presented in this section, which clearly indicates the need for further research on this matter.
The results from Norway give a slightly different picture as compared to several international studies. The indication is that the direct, indirect and induced employment effects may be smaller. On the other hand, the catalytic effects may be larger than what can be seen from other studies.
Association for European Transport