Over the past 50 years, air travel in the United States has increased from approximately 33 million passengers in 1960 to over 607 million passengers in 2007 (National Transportation Statistics, 2011, Table 1–40). This is over an 18-fold increase in air travel in the past five decades. Over that same time period, the number of airports increased modestly, from 15,161 in 1980 to 19,750 in 2009. The number of those airports serving public commercial traffic is even smaller, and has declined from 730 airports in 1980 to 559 in 2009 (National Transportation Statistics, 2011, Table 1–3). Together, these two facts point to phenomenal growth among airports (measured by the number of passenger trips).
Mahoney, D. and Wilson, W.W. (2012), "Chapter 11 The Size and Growth of Airports", Peoples, J. (Ed.) Pricing Behavior and Non-Price Characteristics in the Airline Industry (Advances in Airline Economics, Vol. 3), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 233-273. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2212-1609(2011)0000003013
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