Determination and Evaluation of the Airport Catchment Area
The definition of the Hinterland or the Catchment Area of an airport is very broad and current literature suggests doing it in combination with certain pre-defined criteria: the assessment of the impact or effectiveness of a certain airport, or from the perspective of competition between airports.
Some authors prefer to make a definition of the Catchment Area before any analysis and without favor any indicator; others prefer to do it with by the discrimination of sets of indicators that are potentially usable. Traditionally the Catchment Area is measured by radial geographic distances around the airport or by the travel time from one point to the airport.
The general aim of this work is to determine and evaluate the size of an airport Catchment Area using conventional GIS approach. It is possible to consider the travel time on the transportation network from any given point to the airport. We elaborate two temporal scenarios (2001-2011) based on available data in national census and using a set of indicators such as: Population Density, Education Level, Household Income, Economically Active Population, Employment Level, Business Density, Sectorial Structure of Employment, Business Volume, Health, Tourist Attractions, Hotel Establishments, Accommodation Capacity and Occupation Rate.
At this stage of the research the transportation network is already built as well as the embedded census data, so that the Catchment Areas of our three case studies (Lisbon, Oporto and Faro airports) were determined. It was considered different travel time suggested by the airport authorities: for Oporto airport was considered 90 minutes, for Lisbon airport 120 minutes, and for Faro airport 60 minutes. The next step is to inquiry the more important business stakeholders close the frontier of the Catchment Area (last 30 minutes of each one) to understand the relationship with the closest airport.
This work is a part of a broader study that aims to determine the existence (and thus the importance) of any impact of the Catchment Area on the overall efficiency of an airport.