Air transport connectivity gap
Aviation is an essential element of today’s global economy. It supports trade and tourism, creates new opportunities for business, education and culture, fosters innovation and increases labour productivity. The role that aviation plays in each country can be measured in a number of ways. One of them is air transport connectivity. This idea refers to the level at which a country, as well as its regions and cities, is connected to other destinations around the world.
This chapter describes the problem of air connectivity gap. The study is exemplified by the gap in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. It explores the sources of the connectivity gap and identifies possible measures to limit it. The Public Service Obligation (PSO) used in the EU to improve air connectivity is described. Similar solutions from other regions are also presented.
The chapter discusses the effectiveness of state aid in the form of PSO or similar programmes. It also indicates other forms of supporting air connectivity, alternative to the public service concept. Several solutions that might be used to limit the connectivity gap are discussed. This leads to conclusions of possible policy change in respect of the air connectivity issue.