Airports play a significant role in globalization, connecting cities and countries. Airports are a major part of a country’s infrastructure and foster economic activities by encouraging international commerce and tourism and generating employment.
The Economic Impact of Airports
Airports play an eminent role in the economic development of a region, as well as the nation as a whole. Airports facilitate the fast movement of man and materials, thereby fostering trade and commerce.
Airports support employment generation. Direct employment opportunities include workers from the construction sector when the airport is being built. Once it is operational, personnel is required for a range of services, including airport operations and management, aircraft maintenance, storage facilities, charter services and leasing activities.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport has been generating massive employment opportunities since its inception in the 1970s. Quoting data from the US Department of Commerce, the US daily said that the four counties surrounding the DFW airport had witnessed 148% growth in employment by the turn of the century. National employment surged 67% during this period.
Airports offer increased accessibility, which in turn fuels the tourism sector. With an increase in the number of visitors and airport users, more money flows into the local economy.
With increased economic activity and employment, consumer behavior changes, raising the standard of living of the people in the region. Thus, the availability of airports provides a thrust to the GDP of the local region, having a positively impact on the national economy.
The World’s Best Airports Ranked
The Honk Kong International Airport was cited as the world’s best airport in 2008, following a worldwide passenger survey organized by Skytrax, a London-based air traffic research firm. This marked the seventh time in the preceding ten years that Hong Kong had won the prestigious award, which ranks international airports based on customer satisfaction. As per this survey, the top ten airports in the world are:
- Hong Kong
- Singapore Changi
- Seoul Incheon
- Kuala Lumpur KLIA
- Cape Town