Further information or any contact with media should be addressed to the Chair of the Action Prof Hans-Martin Niemeier at


COST is the longest-running European framework supporting trans-national cooperation among researchers, engineers and scholars across Europe. More information about COST Actions and the COST Association can be found at


COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020


We are very delighted that you have shown interest in our Website. Data protection is of a particularly high priority for the management of COST. The use of the Internet pages of ATARD is possible without any indication of personal data; however, if a data subject wants to use special enterprise services via our website, processing of personal data could become necessary. 

Action TU1408

Air Transport and Regional Development (ATARD)


COST Action TU1408 is organised into 5 working groups:


  • WG 1 – Methodological Approaches

  • WG 2 – Selection of Case Studies

  • WG 3 – Case Studies on Core Regions

  • WG 4 – Case Studies on Remote Regions

  • WG 5 – Edition of a Handbook on Airports and Regional Development

You can find detailed information about the work and outcomes of each working group in their dedicated menu entries or by clicking on the links above.

Working group 1 – Methodological Approaches

WG 1 is dedicated to the methodological framework of the Action.

The description of the methodological approaches to be applied in order to analyse the relationship between air transport and regional development is the first task to be conducted. In the literature several approaches have been proposed to date in order to assess how efficiently given inputs (air transport conditions in this case) are converted into given outputs (regional development). These approaches include for example cost-benefit analyses (CBA), dynamic computable general equilibrium models (CGE), partial equilibrium models, total factor productivity (TFP), variable factor productivity (VFP), data envelopment analysis (DEA) and stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) as well as network based, cost-benefit analyses drawing from new economic geography, industrial organization and transactional cost approach literatures. Taking into account their respective strengths and weaknesses, state-of-the-art cross-disciplinary methodological approaches will be discussed and developed. The opportunity to meet researchers from other fields through this COST Action is likely to generate new ideas and novel approaches to the questions at hand. This will be useful for analysing the extent to which diverse approaches may lead to different conclusions and to compare the data requirements for the various approaches. Examples of input variables could include infrastructure, airport capacity measures, air service connectivity indices, air service frequency per carrier, competing modes as well as the identification of industries served directly and indirectly by air transport. Output variables include economic variables such as inter-regional trade-flows, employment and gross domestic product, particularly in sectors more dependent on long-distance transport, firm start-ups, and innovation, socially relevant variables such as accessibility to advanced education, health care and other public services and environmental variables such as exposure to air pollution and noise as well as ground-water. Both quantitative and qualitative information will be used, the latter drawing from a survey that will involve local and regional development institutions, aviation authorities, airports and airlines, specifically drawing on the Stakeholder’s Network.

In the definition of the methodology, special attention will be paid to intermodal and multimodal issues. Indeed, Europe, much more than other geographic contexts, is characterized by dense motorway and high-speed rail systems that, on the one hand, compete with air transport systems and, on the other hand, complement them. Other issues that require special attention relate to the trans-boundary nature of the hinterlands of many airports (notably secondary airports used by lowcost carriers). Consequently, regional development effects ought to be analyzed from a transnational perspective, which in particular may raise problems of data compatibility.


Working group members:

Nicole Adler (

Aisling J. Reynolds-Feighan (