July-August_2021 - 34

REGIONAL AIRPORTS
airlines and airports all operate in
the U.S.
More than 24,000 landing
facilities yield for another record:
no other country in the world has
come near this number of airports.
The vast majority of about 14,400
airports
are in private-use and
3,300 are included in the federal
administration's National Plan of
Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS),
considered to be essential for the air
traffic infrastructure of the U.S.
The large hubs grow, the
small develop slow
The fact that most U.S. airports
achieve low levels of traffic, revenues
and utilization applies to almost 89
percent of the country's air traffic
infrastructure. Regional airports
nationwide feel the pressure to
develop positively and profitably
among the dense competition.
At 522 airports in the U.S.
commercial air services
accounted for 1.8 billion
passengers in 2019. Hub
airports consolidate the
traffic: America's top 50
passenger hubs handle
84.1 percent of traffic. The
remaining nine out of ten
airports fight for a passenger market
of just over 15 percent. In cargo, the
tendency for concentration is even
more distinct: the total volume of 33.1
million tons of cargo in 2019 went
through only 141 U.S. airports. The
50 largest cargo hubs handled 87.9
percent of all air freight traffic.
Unfavorable conditions:
Aircraft sizes increase,
airline numbers decrease
The industry's developments are not
in favor of regional airports, forcing
them to invest time, energy and
money to attract and retain airlines.
With the average number of
passengers per flight in the U.S.
growing from 73 in 2009
to 96 ten years later, airlines
utilize larger aircraft to
reduce unit costs per seat.
The consequences are a
widely practiced demise
of aircraft in the segment
of up to 50 seats that represent the
market size of many rural airport
communities for adequate frequencies.
And while planes get bigger, the
number of potential airline customers
for commercial services declines. The
overall consolidation in the U.S.
airline market, impedes regional
airports' aspirations to sustainably
develop commercial services.
Federal support can lead to
positive development
The U. S .
The Essential Air
De p a r t ment of
Transportation has set up various
grant programs for regional airports
- to develop route networks, improve
infrastructures or cover expenses
from the coronavirus pandemic.
By making use of the financial aid
provided, small airports can
evolve commercial activities
in the air traffic sector to
operate more profitably
and secure their position to
be on the future map of the
NPIAS.
34 \ AIRPORTBUSINESS / JULY/AUGUST 2021
Ser v ice (EAS) for
airline route funding
and the recently issued
Small Community Air
Service Development
Program (SCASDP)
helps regional airports in recovering
route services that have been
reduced or suspended through the
COVID-19 crisis. Together with
the Airport Coronavirus Response
Grant Program and the Airport
Improvement Program (AIP),
regional airports can avail themselves
of the needed financial support to
align their businesses for the future.
Specialization in the niche
segments of aviation and
overarching businesses
It is unlikely regional airports in
rural areas will turn into hubs, yet by
specializing in a niche of the air traffic
sector, smaller airports can develop a
competitive edge. A thorough analysis
of the catchment area, examination of

July-August_2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of July-August_2021

Inside the Fence
Industry Update
FBOs Make a Strong Case for Increasing Charter, Flightschool Business, Other Service Offerings
Legal Matters
New Technology Takes Control of Baggage Systems
Innovating Airport Operations
TAC Air Expands and Improves in Amarillo
PFAS-Contaminated Drinking Water: A Growing Concern for Airports
Airports by the Thousands
Satellites Have the Power to Transform the Aviation Industry
Product Focus
July-August_2021 - 1
July-August_2021 - 2
July-August_2021 - 3
July-August_2021 - 4
July-August_2021 - Inside the Fence
July-August_2021 - Industry Update
July-August_2021 - 7
July-August_2021 - 8
July-August_2021 - 9
July-August_2021 - FBOs Make a Strong Case for Increasing Charter, Flightschool Business, Other Service Offerings
July-August_2021 - 11
July-August_2021 - Legal Matters
July-August_2021 - 13
July-August_2021 - New Technology Takes Control of Baggage Systems
July-August_2021 - 15
July-August_2021 - 16
July-August_2021 - 17
July-August_2021 - 18
July-August_2021 - 19
July-August_2021 - Innovating Airport Operations
July-August_2021 - 21
July-August_2021 - 22
July-August_2021 - 23
July-August_2021 - 24
July-August_2021 - 25
July-August_2021 - TAC Air Expands and Improves in Amarillo
July-August_2021 - 27
July-August_2021 - 28
July-August_2021 - 29
July-August_2021 - PFAS-Contaminated Drinking Water: A Growing Concern for Airports
July-August_2021 - 31
July-August_2021 - 32
July-August_2021 - Airports by the Thousands
July-August_2021 - 34
July-August_2021 - 35
July-August_2021 - Satellites Have the Power to Transform the Aviation Industry
July-August_2021 - 37
July-August_2021 - 38
July-August_2021 - 39
July-August_2021 - Product Focus
July-August_2021 - 41
July-August_2021 - 42
July-August_2021 - 43
July-August_2021 - 44
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