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Assessing geographic coverage of the essential air service program

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  • Grubesic, Tony H.
  • Matisziw, Timothy C.
  • Murray, Alan T.
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    Abstract

    Essential air service (EAS) is a federally funded program that helps provide commercial air transport service from smaller, geographically remote communities in the United States. While critics of this program frequently cite the underutilization of EAS connections as being an indicator of wasteful public spending, recent studies suggest that the spatial configuration of EAS subsidized airports may also contribute to systemic inefficiencies. The purpose of this paper is to explore the prospects for reducing EAS allocations while meeting existing geographic service needs. The analysis of this public sector service is structured using classic location coverage problems to examine whether there are any system inefficiencies. This enables an objective assessment to be carried out, using spatial optimization modeling approaches. The subsequent analysis provides the basis for a number of public policy insights, including the evaluation of service redundancies, the impact of geographic proximity guidelines and the potential for expanding coverage of the EAS program.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Socio-Economic Planning Sciences.

    Volume (Year): 46 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 124-135

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:soceps:v:46:y:2012:i:2:p:124-135

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/seps

    Related research

    Keywords: Air transport; Efficiency; Essential air service; Spatial optimization; Deregulation; Facility location;

    References

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    1. Liu, Zhi-Jun & Debbage, Keith & Blackburn, Brendan, 2006. "Locational determinants of major US air passenger markets by metropolitan area," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 12(6), pages 331-341.
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    7. Gleason, John M., 1975. "A set covering approach to bus stop location," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 3(5), pages 605-608, October.
    8. D Richard & H Beguin & D Peeters, 1990. "The location of fire stations in a rural environment: a case study," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 22(1), pages 39-52, January.
    9. Pels, Eric & Nijkamp, Peter & Rietveld, Piet, 2003. "Access to and competition between airports: a case study for the San Francisco Bay area," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 71-83, January.
    10. Stephan J. Goetz & David L. Debertin, 1996. "Rural Population Decline in the 1980s: Impacts of Farm Structure and Federal Farm Programs," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(3), pages 517-529.
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    Cited by:
    1. Grubesic, Tony H. & Wei, Fangwu, 2012. "Evaluating the efficiency of the Essential Air Service program in the United States," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1562-1573.
    2. Grubesic, Tony H. & Murray, Alan T. & Matisziw, Timothy C., 2013. "A strategic approach for improving rural air transport in the United States," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 117-124.

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