Patterns of US air transport across the economic unevenness of 2003–2013

<p>This map summarizes the relative change in activity at 379 airports during the tumultuous economic period that lasted from 2003 to 2013 in the conterminous USA. Rather than treating airports only as individual nodes, the work identifies relative regional spatial change in airport activity based upon the combination of the percentage changes in three factors: departures, passenger levels, and available seats. The geographic results, calculated by kriging, show that the outcome over the period is not spatially uniform. In particular, the map shows that parts of the Rust Belt, Appalachia, and the Intermountain West fared relatively worse while the plains and coasts did somewhat better. The analysis expresses the fact that while footloose in the short-run, long-term adjustments in the airline industry, like those experienced across 2003–2013, did so in a spatially coherent way.</p>