The Challenge and the Issues

  • Richard de Neufville


Worldwide, air travel can be expected to increase substantially in the decades ahead. Barring catastrophe, it quite possibly will be three to ten times greater by the end of the century than it is in 1976. These projections imply no more than an average annual rate of growth of 5–10 percent. A threefold increase in twenty years only requires that air travel keep pace with the historical expansion of national economies and international trade — a fairly conservative assumption. A tenfold increase in the same period, large as it seems, is comparable to the increase in the number of air travelers and shipments in air cargo in the generation after the Second World War.1 The larger rate of growth may even be the more likely one. It is, of course, quite impossible to know what the actual development will be, but that is not our concern for the moment. The immediate fact is that significant increases in air traffic will occur, and will require large investments in airports.


Average Annual Rate Excessive Reliance Large Aircraft Airport Authority Airport Capacity 
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Copyright information

© Richard de Neufville 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard de Neufville
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Transportation StudiesMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA

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