The workshop on regional aviation considered the character of regional air service in the United States and also worldwide. Individual Panel members made presentations on a variety of issues which they felt were likely to be important determinants in the shaping of the future of regional aviation. The Panel forecast a new phase of strong regional aviation growth, made possible by the development of new, faster, more comfortable regional-sized aircraft, ranging from 19-seat turboprops to 50-passenger jets. Airport congestion was considered likely to lead to continued pressures on regional aviation at large hub airports. The problem of air traffic control congestion in Europe was considered an obstacle to the development of a network of regional airline routes crisscrossing Europe. The Panel felt that the greatest threat to growth was the increasing domination of regional air services by the largest airlines through code-sharing agreements and ownership, both full and partial, which give the large airlines a great deal of clout when it comes to determining new services. This, however, could become an opportunity for the development of "tertiary hubs," a term coined to cover hubs even smaller than the secondary hubs formed in smaller cities today. It could also make the industry safer, thereby improving public confidence in, and thus ridership on, regional airlines. Also, once an airline owns its own regionals, it will perhaps not be so concerned about a regional siphoning off revenue on hub by-pass services, therefore allowing it to explore new opportunities in potentially high-yield and high-profit markets. The Panel concluded that there is enough evidence to justify optimism in the future of regional aviation. The most pressing need the panel identified was for more consistent data in terms of origin and destination traffic statistics.

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    • This paper appears in Transportation Research Circular No. 352, Future Aviation Activities: Sixth International Workshop, Washington, D.C., September 13-15, 1989. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
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    Transportation Research Board

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  • Authors:
    • McClelland, J B
  • Publication Date: 1990-2

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  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Pagination: p. 28-29
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  • Accession Number: 00496785
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Aug 31 1990 12:00AM