The Contribution of Airports to Regional Economic Development



The Contribution of Airports to Regional Economic Development

Authors

ANDREW H R and BAILEY R, University of Luton, UK

Description

Few industries can demonstrate the rate of sustained growth and investment shown by the air transport business. In terms of economic impact airports handle growing numbers of international passengers and an increasing volume of high value cargo, which is

Abstract

Few industries can demonstrate the rate of sustained growth and investment shown by the air transport business. In terms of economic impact airports handle growing numbers of international passengers and an increasing volume of high value cargo, which is flown in preference to the use of rail or sea transport. Airports provide access to international business opportunities and are regarded as an important element of infrastructure. In 1996 airports plan to spend £25 billion world-wide on airport development to keep pace with the growth in air travel (Economist 1996).

This paper considers evidence from a range of European ease studies of the contribution that airports make to their regional economy. It describes the economic linkages that take place in terms of an activity chain, reviews the methodology used for existing analyses and makes a proposal for a classification of airport economic impact. The distribution of air traffic growth and airport capacity within Europe is analysed to see how this relates to the pace of development and economic interaction. The paper concludes by presenting planning policies which may contribute to local economic development.

Publisher

Association for European Transport