Edited by Harry W. Richardson, Peter Gordon and James E. Moore II
Chapter 9: The Impact of 9/11 on Airport Passenger Density and Regional Travel
Garrett R. Beeler Asay1 and Jeffrey Clemens2,3 INTRODUCTION 9/11’s impact on the observed quantity of air travel can be characterized as an immediate, sharp downturn in the two months following the event, followed by a gradual but incomplete recovery towards the original trend. The relative sizes of both the temporary and permanent aspects of the decline in air travel were estimated by Ito and Lee (2005b) using monthly data (through much of 2003) at the national level. In this chapter we use data that are disaggregated at the airport level to look not only at the impact of September 11th on the quantity of air travel, but also at its composition. We explore several hypotheses related to the impact of September 11th on the composition of air travel in the United States. First, we ask whether large airports were more affected by 9/11 than small airports. Second, we ask whether New England and Mid-Atlantic destinations were impacted more strongly than destinations in other regions. In future work, we also intend to explore the extent to which (if at all): (1) US origin passengers have shifted away from international and toward domestic travel; and (2) foreign-origin passengers have shifted away from US destinations. The answers to these questions have implications which extend beyond the relatively narrow scope of air travel, as they touch on the ability of terrorism to bring about short-, medium- and long-run changes in patterns of economic activity. The large airport hypothesis, for example, addresses the broader...
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