IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Internalization of airport congestion: A network analysis


  • Brueckner, Jan K.


The likely resurgence of air traffic in the U.S. means that airport congestion is a problem that must soon be confronted by policy makers. As part of their policy response, it is probable that some form of congestion pricing will be imposed at selected U.S. airports in the relatively near future. The theory developed in this paper, which extends the results of Brueckner (2002), provides an important guide for the formulation of congestion pricing rules. In particular, the theory says that the congestion tolls levied on the various airlines at a particular airport should generally be different, with the tolls being inversely related to a carrier’s airport flight share. Internalization of airport congestion is the reason for this inverse relationship. In operating another peak flight, a carrier takes account of the congestion damage imposed on the other flights it operates. If these flights account for a large share of the airport’s traffic, then most of the congestion created by the additional flight is internalized, justifying a low toll. By contrast, if the carrier operates only a few of the airport’s flights, then little internalization occurs, and a high toll is needed to force the carrier to take into account the congestion damage it causes. The resulting flight-share rule is easy to implement, and it could help policymakers design proper toll systems at U.S. airports.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Brueckner, Jan K., 2005. "Internalization of airport congestion: A network analysis," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 599-614, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:23:y:2005:i:7-8:p:599-614

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daniel, Joseph I, 1995. "Congestion Pricing and Capacity of Large Hub Airports: A Bottleneck Model with Stochastic Queues," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(2), pages 327-370, March.
    2. Severin Borenstein, 1989. "Hubs and High Fares: Dominance and Market Power in the U.S. Airline Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(3), pages 344-365, Autumn.
    3. Jan K. Brueckner, 2002. "Airport Congestion When Carriers Have Market Power," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1357-1375, December.
    4. Daniel, Joseph I., 2001. "Distributional Consequences of Airport Congestion Pricing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 230-258, September.
    5. Daniel, Joseph I. & Pahwa, Munish, 2000. "Comparison of Three Empirical Models of Airport Congestion Pricing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-38, January.
    6. Pels, Eric & Verhoef, Erik T., 2004. "The economics of airport congestion pricing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 257-277, March.
    7. Brueckner, Jan K., 2001. "The economics of international codesharing: an analysis of airline alliances," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(10), pages 1475-1498, December.
    8. Levine, Michael E, 1969. "Landing Fees and the Airport Congestion Problem," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 79-108, April.
    9. Carlin, Alan & Park, Rolla Edward, 1970. "Marginal Cost Pricing of Airport Runway Capacity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 310-319, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:23:y:2005:i:7-8:p:599-614. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.