The Department of Spatial Economics and the School of Business Economics are proud to host the 23rd World Conference of the Air Transport Research Society.

In the plenary sessions, high-level academic speakers will exchange ideas with high-level government and industry speakers. The main theme of the conference will focus aviation, economic growth and sustainability.

A lot of studies try to indicate the expected growth in employment as a result of growth in the number of aviation passengers or flights. However, airports often already serve cities with a strong economy, and such cities often are also important tourist destinations. In general terms: accessibility is important for a strong economy, but a healthy transport sector needs a strong economy. Transport and the economy support each other.

But growth in the aviation sector results in more demand for airports operating close to capacity. Also, growth in the aviation sector also means more emissions of e.g. noise and CO2. For this reason, in October 2018 the Dutch aviation sector launched a plan to reduce CO2 emissions by 35% in 2030. To accomplish this, the following action points are formulated: new flight paths and approach procedures, including the climate impact in airport charges, sustainable fuels, new fleets, substitution towards rail traffic, emission free airports and efficient access and regress. Policy proposals that will play a role in the new Dutch aviation policy to be announced in June-July 2019. Policy proposals that are also relevant and important elsewhere in the world.

In this conference, and specifically the plenary session, we discuss the proposed action points. For instance, what are the consequences of including the climatic impact in the ticket price? Are adjustments necessary elsewhere in the economy if higher prices leads to lower demand? What policy proposals concerning the substitution to high-speed rail exist elsewhere in the world, and what are the experiences? Does the use of high-speed rail lead to more or less demand? The exact themes will be discussed with the keynote speakers.

To answer such questions, a keynote speakers will first address the latest policy proposals. Then the latest academic results on aviation policy and substitution to high speed rail will be discussed by professor Anming Zhang. And finally, an industry speaker will discuss the need for and usefulness of the policy proposals.

In the plenary session, chaired by professor Jaap de Wit, academic speakers (professors Anne Graham and Tae Oum) and industry speakers will be asked to react to the proposed policy and the keynote speakers. The most important goal of this session: prioritizing the policy proposals so that it will become clear which proposals are expected to be the most successful, in the Netherlands and elsewhere, while at the same time the anticipated economic effects will also be clear.


We hope to see you in Amsterdam at the 23rd ATRS World Conference!