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The U.S. Essential Air Service Program and SARS C0V-2, 2019–2020

Kurt Fuellhart, Liang Dai, Tony Grubesic and Ben Derudder

Journal of Transport Geography, 2021, vol. 96, issue C

Abstract: The Essential Air Service (EAS) Program in the United States has provided government-subsidized air service to many small and rural communities for several decades. A program expectation is that it should provide service in light of prevailing market conditions. This paper assesses EAS during the height of the SARS CoV-2 (CoV2) pandemic from three interrelated perspectives: the program in aggregate, individual communities, and EAS connecting hubs. Using a combination of methods, including complex network analysis, we find that, in aggregate, EAS airports performed better than non-EAS airports in preserving seat capacity. However, there was variation in performance between individual EAS communities in particular and some distinct regional geographic patterns in general. In addition, we found substantial variation in the hubs' performance, which connect EAS to the U.S. National Air System.

Keywords: Essential Air Service; SARS CoV2 pandemic; U.S. domestic air transport; Network analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2021.103169

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