Subsidized Regional Airlines as a Sustainable Development Mechanism for Remote Locations Heavily Dependent on Air Transportation

  •  Celso Jose Leao e Silva    
  •  Mauricio Oliveira de Andrade    
  •  Viviane Adriano Falcao    
  •  Carlos Fabricio Assuncao da Silva    


The understanding that air transport induces the economic development of a region has motivated studies on regional air transport and the necessary subsidies for its implementation. Several countries have implemented specific subsidy plans with a focus on integrating their territories through a network of air routes, depending on the funding methods and the results of the investments that were made. However, few studies summarize the geographical conditions of the locations served that justify their dependence on air transport as the only viable means of accessibility. This article seeks to identify the geographical characteristics of these locations to illustrate the conditions that justify the need for subsidies for the operationalization of air transport as a mechanism to promote the minimum sustainability conditions for such locations. We collected socioeconomic data of a set of 1365 subsidized routes of 28 countries from the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania and tracing a profile of localities, classified in nine different clusters. The results indicated that isolated locations in islands, in the polar regions and areas of impenetrable forests have an almost exclusive dependence on air transport as a means of access and that justify the maintenance of subsidies to air routes as a fundamental requirement for the accessibility of the population to services of a social and humanitarian nature.

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