Essential Air Service in the United States: Exploring Strategies to Enhance Spatial and Operational Efficiencies

Tony Grubesic, Ran Wei, Alan Murray, Fangwu Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The Essential Air Service (EAS) program continues to receive federal funding to provide air travel access to rural communities in the United States. Regular assessment and evaluation of the performance of this program are important, given limited federal resources and fiduciary duties. In fact, this program has garnered significant attention through the years because it was originally conceived to offer temporary financial bridging for maintaining commercial air service in rural and remote communities following deregulation in 1978, yet has continued to be funded at increasing rates for over thirty-five years. This article undertakes a systematic analysis of the EAS program in terms of access and intended goals and objectives. A spatial optimization model is used to examine service performance of the existing system. Program insights as well as ways system efficiency that could be enhanced are highlighted for rural air transportation service in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-130
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Regional Science Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • cost–benefit analysis
  • economic growth and development
  • geographic information science
  • location models
  • optimization
  • rural development planning
  • spatial analysis
  • spatial structure
  • transportation and transit
  • urban and regional issues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Essential Air Service in the United States: Exploring Strategies to Enhance Spatial and Operational Efficiencies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this