Airport classification based on cargo characteristics

Air cargo has received little attention in airport research. In this paper, 114 airports are grouped according to their cargo business characteristics. Applying a hierarchical cluster analysis, the paper uses absolute (cargo tonnage) and relative measures (share of cargo work load units, of freighter movements and of international cargo) to establish the reliance of different airport types and groupings on air cargo. Eight distinct clusters are identified which show clear differences in the characteristics of the sample with regard to cargo activities. Geographic patterns of these airports are also revealed. For example, North American and European airports are characterised by features unique to these regions. Airports that are highly dependent on air cargo tend to benefit from a central location within networks of cargo airlines, while other airports with high cargo volumes generate these as a result of significant belly-capacity of passenger operations. Understanding the heterogeneity of cargo airports is important for future benchmarking studies in this field.


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  • Accession Number: 01609122
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 29 2016 1:52PM