Assessing Caribbean Passenger Air Connectivity Using Spatial Interaction Models

Authors: William Canup*, University of North Carolina - Greensboro
Topics: Transportation Geography, Latin America, Tourism Geography
Keywords: transportation geography, spatial interaction models, Caribbean, West Indies, island studies
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This research evaluates the use of spatial interaction models regarding passenger air traffic in the Caribbean. The goal is to distinguish anticipated differences between basic spatial interaction models and other measures of connectivity, and identify peculiarities and constraints in the Caribbean that contribute to these differences. A basic total flow constrained gravity model (TFCGM), featuring only the variables of population and distance, is calculated between Caribbean airports and their non-stop destinations. This serves as an estimated or predicted measure of connectivity. Linear regression is then performed, using the TFCGM as the dependent variable and International Air Transport Association (IATA) Global and Regional Connectivity Indices as independent variables. The residuals from these values are interpreted as variables that are present in the TFCGM (estimated connectivity) but not in the IATA indices (actual connectivity).

This research found that the total flow constrained gravity model, featuring only population and distance as variables, is not well-predicted by the IATA Global and Regional connectivity indices. Models featuring only population and distance generally underestimate Caribbean passenger air connectivity. The reasons for this are many, but include: the popularity of Caribbean islands as tourist destinations, political relationships between Caribbean islands and their former colonial powers, and political relationships between Caribbean islands and countries with which they remain overseas territories.

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