Inter-urban competition and air transport in the deregulated era: The Nashville case

American cities are acting in a competitive environment as a result of forces like economic restructuring, capital mobility, and state devolution. Since the late 1970s, the federal government has dismantled the spatial boundaries of investment through the deregulation of several important sectors of the economy, including the airline industry. Transportation geographers have investigated how deregulation allowed airlines to develop a hub-and-spoke system. However, post-deregulation airline development has yet to be approached from the perspective of urban entrepreneurialism. Another layer of inter-urban competition has been added through new geographical patterns of airline investment, and capturing hub status through airport development may be especially valuable for mid-size cities. Most large cities have hub status, while small cities have no realistic chance of becoming major players in the air transportation network, thus making the hub an opportunity for mid-size cities. A case study of Nashville, Tennessee illuminates the strong local emphasis on airport expansion in the deregulated environment. Local business and government have been active and innovative, although not always successful, in policies that improve Nashville's accessibility and position in the urban hierarchy.


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  • Accession Number: 01076480
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 6 2007 10:05AM