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Title: Determinants of airport cost flexibility in a context of economic recession
Authors: Martín Hernández, Juan Carlos 
Rodríguez Déniz, Héctor
Voltes Dorta, Augusto 
UNESCO Clasification: 531212 Transportes y comunicaciones
Keywords: Transportes áereos
Crisis económica
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: 1366-5545
Journal: Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review 
Conference: 15th World Conference of the Air-Transport-Research-Society (ATRS) 
Abstract: The recent economic downturn led to a significant contraction in the global demand for air travel and cargo. In spite of that, airports' operating costs did not mirror the traffic trends and kept increasing during the same period, showing evident signs of lack of flexibility. With this background, this paper aims at identifying the drivers of airport cost flexibility in a context of economic recession. This is done by estimating a short-run stochastic cost frontier over a balanced pool database of 194 airports worldwide between 2007 and 2009. Using the total change in cost efficiency during the sample period as a proxy for cost flexibility, the impact of variables such as ownership, outsourcing, airline dominance, low-cost traffic, and revenue diversification is tested in a second-stage regression. Contrary to the existing literature, a higher level of outsourcing is shown to reduce cost flexibility. Results also indicate that low-cost traffic, diversification, and corporatization increase the airports' ability to control costs. The negative impact of airline dominance suggests the need for more stringent regulations on slot allocation at congested airports in order to ensure optimal infrastructure usage.
ISSN: 1366-5545
DOI: 10.1016/j.tre.2013.01.007
Source: Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review[ISSN 1366-5545],v. 57, p. 70-84
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