Evaluating the efficiency of the Essential Air Service program in the United States

Tony H. Grubesic, Fangwu Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Essential Air Service (EAS) is a federally funded program in the United States that provides connecting, commercial air service between rural communities and their nearest large or medium commercial hub airport. During fiscal year 2010, $170. million dollars were spent to provide this service to 107 communities in the US. However, with significant variations in subsidies to each airport (ranging from $427,757 to $3,082,403) and marked differences in passengers served, there are serious concerns regarding the overall efficiency of the EAS program. The purpose of this paper is to use data envelopment analysis integrated in a geographic information system for evaluating service efficiencies at the community level. Policy implications and strategies to improve the EAS program are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1562-1573
Number of pages12
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Accessibility
  • Airports
  • Efficiency
  • Essential Air Service
  • Rural transportation
  • Spatial analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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