Edited by Robin Hickman, Moshe Givoni, David Bonilla and David Banister
Chapter 24: The expansion of large international hub airports
There is no question that airports and the aviation industry play a major role in the contemporary global economy. Air passenger and cargo transport has become indispensable for global commerce, especially in tourism, trade, logistics and producer services. No other mode of transport provides such high-speed service over long distances, crossing both land and sea. Air transport provides superb accessibility between global air hubs and major spokes to facilitate economic development at these nodes and their surrounding regions. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that aviation has a global economic impact of $2.2 trillion, or about 3.5 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP), and accounts for 56.6 million people employed in aviation and related industries (IATA, 2012). Commercial air travel has been experiencing strong growth in demand throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, and this trend has continued, albeit somewhat less consistently, into the twenty-first century. Annual growth rates have averaged 5–6 per cent from the 1960s, but have fluctuated since 2000. Increasing GDP and disposable incomes, together with technological improvements in the speed, comfort, and safety of commercial air travel have been key factors behind the strong historical growth in aviation demand.
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