The US federal Essential Air Service program was established to subsidize air service to communities unable to retain commercial carriers after airline deregulation in 1978. In this paper, the subsidized service between program communities and commercial hub airports is investigated relative to several Essential Air Service planning objectives. Specifically, observed community hubbing activity is compared with that modeled to minimize hub access cost and maximize community accessibility within the commercial air transport system. Results highlight trends in system performance relative to these planning objectives and indicate that significant potential exists for enhancing the efficiency of the program in light of limited resources.
- Air transportation network design
- Multi-objective planning
- Route correspondence
- Rural air service
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law