A Historical and Economic Perspective
Chapter 7: SWOT analysis
This chapter presents the qualitative portion of the research conducted in this work. A strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis approach is used to study the different institutional and regulatory arrangements put in place in the air navigation services industry. The chapter starts with a discussion of the method used. Following that, results of the application of the SWOT analysis framework to air navigation service providers (ANSP) ownership are presented anddiscussed. Although often overlooked as not being up to par with current academic standards, qualitative, soft, equations-free approaches can be useful in providing insights into a topic (for example, policy variables) that economic modelling alone cannot capture. The method chosen, SWOT analysis, is a decades-old technique mainly used in business and marketing analysis to provide information that is helpful in matching a firm’s resources and capabilities to the economic environment in which it operates. In addition, its application can be extended to embrace policy assessment and efficiency as a sort of soft economic benefit-cost analysis that involves treating the government as a firm and its policies as its products to be appraised. While not as technically rigorous as some approaches, it allows both for the introduction of qualitative information and for a flexible way of assessing several aspects of alternative ownership frameworks. This is important given the diverse national systems of providing air navigation services and the softer considerations that come into assessing their relative economic merits.
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