Airport Benchmarking An Efficiency Analysis of European Airports from an Economic and Managerial Perspective

  • Subsequent to airline deregulation, an increasing commercialization, privatization and restructuring gradually changed a sovereign operated airport industry to modern business enterprises. Where market power was likely to be exploited, airports may now face competition with nearby airports or other transport modes. Consequently airport benchmarking became popular for comparisons with competitors and to assess efficiency changes resulting from the structural change. Within academic benchmarking a number of studies emerged utilizing parametric and non-parametric approaches to estimate the productivity and efficiency of airports. Building on the limitations and discussions from previous research the general objective of this thesis is to further the understanding of the airport industry and to improve airport benchmarking in order to enhance its usefulness for managerial, political and regulatory purposes. Particular emphasis is given on the consideration of the heterogeneous character of airports and how to explain efficiency difference across airports. The cumulative thesis presents the results of three research articles. The first article provides a survey on the methods, data and findings of empirical research from the current literature in airport benchmarking. The survey indicates substantial progress in the methodological application however many issues still remain unresolved such as the appropriate measurement of capital. The second article assesses the combined impact of ownership form, economic regulation and competition on airport performance and pricing in order to search for the most desirable combination. Australian and European are analyzed using non-parametric data envelopment analysis (DEA) in a first stage efficiency measurement and regression analysis in a second stage environmental study. The results reveal that airports not facing competition should be regulated to increase cost efficiency and prevent exploitation of market power. However, in a competitive setting, regulation inhibits airports of any ownership from operating efficiently. Nevertheless, unregulated private airports appear to remain profit-maximizer within competition. The third article aims to improve the airport benchmarking process. Most previous studies either treat the airport production technology as a black box or separate terminal and airside activities, assessing them individually. This research analyzes European airports as a single unit due to the direct complementarities but opening the black box through network DEA. Combined with dynamic clustering appropriate benchmarks are identified based on pre-defined characteristics. Compared to basic DEA models, the results of the network DEA structure provide more meaningful benchmarks with comparable peer units and target values that are achievable in the medium term.

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Meta data
Publishing Institution:IRC-Library, Information Resource Center der Jacobs University Bremen
Granting Institution:Jacobs Univ.
Author:Vanessa Philippa Liebert
Referee:Gert Brunekreeft, Adalbert Wilhelm, Hans-Martin Niemeier
Advisor:Gert Brunekreeft
Persistent Identifier (URN):urn:nbn:de:101:1-2013052812212
Document Type:PhD Thesis
Date of Successful Oral Defense:2011/03/08
Date of First Publication:2011/05/13
PhD Degree:Economics
School:SHSS School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Library of Congress Classification:H Social Sciences / HE Transportation and communications / HE9761-9900 Air transportation. Airlines
Call No:Thesis 2011/15

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