Air Transport Geographies of the Asia-Pacific
The geography of air transport in the Asia-Pacific region is shaped by interactions over time and space between the economic development, political systems and the underlying physical character of the region. Stretching east from Pakistan to New Zealand and a scatter of small island nations, and south from Japan to Australia, this region includes 35 states.1 These vary substantially in geographic size, population and political economy, as well as on measures of economic growth and development. In addition some states have deregulated many aspects of their air industry, while others retain a conviction that government has a significant role in the planning and management of what they see as a key sector of their national economy. Taken together these aspects have created a very complex air transport geography. Airlines based in the region accounted for more than a quarter of all the passengers carried by the world’s airlines in 2010, almost double their share in 1970. The significance of that outcome is underscored by the observation that the ‘647 million in the intra-Asia-Pacific travel in 2009 had eclipsed the number of travelers in North America as the world’s largest aviation market’ (IATA 2010).