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Evaluating the efficiency of the Essential Air Service program in the United States

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  • Grubesic, Tony H.
  • Wei, Fangwu

Abstract

Essential Air Service (EAS) is a federally funded program in the United States that provides connecting, commercial air service between rural communities and their nearest large or medium commercial hub airport. During fiscal year 2010, $170million dollars were spent to provide this service to 107 communities in the US. However, with significant variations in subsidies to each airport (ranging from $427,757 to $3,082,403) and marked differences in passengers served, there are serious concerns regarding the overall efficiency of the EAS program. The purpose of this paper is to use data envelopment analysis integrated in a geographic information system for evaluating service efficiencies at the community level. Policy implications and strategies to improve the EAS program are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:46:y:2012:i:10:p:1562-1573
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2012.08.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Grubesic, Tony H. & Matisziw, Timothy C. & Murray, Alan T., 2012. "Assessing geographic coverage of the essential air service program," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 124-135.
    2. Ishii, Jun & Jun, Sunyoung & Van Dender, Kurt, 2009. "Air travel choices in multi-airport markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 216-227, March.
    3. Sarkis, Joseph & Talluri, Srinivas, 2004. "Performance based clustering for benchmarking of US airports," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 329-346, June.
    4. R. D. Banker & A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper, 1984. "Some Models for Estimating Technical and Scale Inefficiencies in Data Envelopment Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(9), pages 1078-1092, September.
    5. Matisziw, Timothy C. & Lee, Chieh-Lung & Grubesic, Tony H., 2012. "An analysis of essential air service structure and performance," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 5-11.
    6. 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.
    7. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
    8. Seiford, Lawrence M. & Zhu, Joe, 2002. "Modeling undesirable factors in efficiency evaluation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 142(1), pages 16-20, October.
    9. Cubbin, John & Tzanidakis, George, 1998. "Regression versus data envelopment analysis for efficiency measurement: an application to the England and Wales regulated water industry," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 75-85, June.
    10. Reynolds-Feighan, Aisling J., 1995. "European and American approaches to air transport liberalisation: Some implications for small communities," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 467-483, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Wittman, Michael D. & Allroggen, Florian & Malina, Robert, 2016. "Public service obligations for air transport in the United States and Europe: Connectivity effects and value for money," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 112-128.
    3. repec:eee:touman:v:65:y:2018:i:c:p:237-244 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Joshua Hall & Amanda Ross & Christopher Yencha, 2015. "The political economy of the Essential Air Service program," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 165(1), pages 147-164, October.
    5. Wei, Fangwu & Grubesic, Tony H., 2016. "The pain persists: Exploring the spatiotemporal trends in air fares and itinerary pricing in the United States, 2002–2013," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 107-121.
    6. Wittman, Michael D., 2014. "Public funding of airport incentives in the United States: The efficacy of the Small Community Air Service Development Grant program," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 220-228.
    7. Fu, Qian & Kim, Amy M., 2016. "Supply-and-demand models for exploring relationships between smaller airports and neighboring hub airports in the U.S," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 67-79.
    8. Allroggen, Florian & Wittman, Michael D. & Malina, Robert, 2015. "How air transport connects the world – A new metric of air connectivity and its evolution between 1990 and 2012," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 184-201.
    9. repec:eee:transa:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:116-129 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Cidell, Julie, 2014. "Spoke airports, intentional and unintentional ground travel, and the air travel decision-making process," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 113-123.

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