The spatial distribution of airport-related economic activity: Where are the jobs?
The connection between airports and economic development at the regional scale is frequently invoked as an argument for airport expansion or development. This relationship is based on the demonstrated increase in jobs in certain economic sectors – those related to professional services and high-tech industries in particular – as the number of flights or passengers to a region’s airport or airports increases. Years of research have demonstrated the directionality of this connection – more flights and/or passengers bring more jobs in professional services (hereafter, PS) – with the assumption that the region as a whole therefore benefits from airport expansion (e.g. Alkaabi and Debbage 2007: Button and Taylor 2000; Irwin and Kasarda 1991: Ivy et al. 1995).