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Defining, Measuring and Improving Air Connectivity

The connectivity provided by an airport is dependent on the airlines that use it and the quality of the services they provide. Defining and measuring current and forecasting potential future air connectivity is an important consideration for airports and airlines as such analysis helps with anticipating changes to route networks and, hence, with planning successful strategies for the future. Moreover, because air connectivity is beneficial to the economy, through facilitating the movements of goods and services, people, ideas, knowledge and investment, it is important for the governments to understand the impact of their policies on connectivity and how outcomes could be improved through changes to policy.

Air connectivity improvements deliver one part of the user experience for passengers, but these improvements must also be matched by well-managed passenger flows and inter- and intra-terminal connectivity. The user-experience over the entire trip-making chain, however, is one area that has at best only been summarily treated in government appraisal of transport projects. This project will help to fill that gap by undertaking quantitative analysis of air connectivity outcomes linked to changes in capacity and describing innovative ways in which novel technologies and services can ensure these changes lead to improved traveller experience.

The project is comprised of four components:

Air connectivity metrics: The project will address limitations in current use of connectivity metrics and set out connectivity definitions and measurements which would shed light on potential air connectivity outcomes under different future scenarios.

Air connectivity diagnostics: Air connectivity outcomes for the users of aviation (passengers and freight forwarders) are a function of airline network decisions and these mainly depend on demand and yield potential, spatial concentration, market access, airport capacity, visit costs, and service level and facilities. These factors will be reviewed by a network connectivity model for the cases of Incheon and Amsterdam airports.

Benefits of air connectivity to the users of aviation: This part of the analysis would bring the policy-makers' attention to the direct socio-economic benefits that could be achieved by improving facilities at airports. The project would also shed light on other benefits of air connectivity, to the freight sector and to the wider economy from increased business activity, trade and tourism.

From connectivity to improved user experience: Travellers may benefit from improved connectivity and greater airport capacity if these are part of a greater effort to deliver a better user experience. This final component will discuss where changes in technologies, services and innovative strategies can ensure that air connectivity benefits are delivered to individual travellers.