Spatial aspects of air transportation liberalization - changes in European airport hierarchy.
airports, liberalization, low cost carriers, air transportation
Liberalization of air transportation opens the European market to low cost carriers. Offering cheep flights to main centres of economic and social development, this group of airlines considerably influences the role of this branch of passenger transportation, making it accessible a wider range of society. Using cheaper airports offering lower costs, these carriers change the airport hierarchy. Local airfields or regional airports become important European transportation nodes. These processes influence some spatial changes. Developing airports need more space for rebuilding terminals and enlarging service centres. Beside this spatial growth of air transportation infrastructure, changes also concern land use in their neighbourhood, because new economic activities appear in the vicinity of these 'new' airports.