RASA Air Service Vulnerability Index

Are Your State’s Airports at Risk of Losing Commercial Air Service?

The Air Service Vulnerability Index (ASVI) is a unique multi-factor model that identifies which states are most vulnerable to a loss in small community commercial air service. In an attempt to isolate states in order that small community air service difficulties might find a champion for the issue, RASA² created the ASVI to rank airport systems by state. Small and non-hub airports are ranked most vulnerable to retaining any, or some, of their existing air service. A vulnerability score was computed for each of the 225 small- and non-hub airports.

The ASVI incorporates seven weighted metrics into its output:

  • Geography: how close is a better connected airport;
  • Percent of departures operated with small regional jets;
  • Percent change in departures between 2014 and 2016;
  • Population: air service migration to populous areas a clear trend;
  • Enplanements per Population: measures the local market’s propensity to travel;
  • Airline Revenue: more robust markets will contribute higher revenues; and
  • Connectivity: a high connectivity ratio is considered an attribute of market sustainability.

Then the index ranks every small and non-hub airport by each of the 7 metrics to assess vulnerability. Small and non-hub airports are first assessed individually. The sum of an airport’s ranks based on its relative positions in each of the seven metrics determines its overall vulnerability.

Because some states have more small and non-hub airports than other states, an average vulnerability per state airport is also calculated. Finally, a composite index is derived by equally weighting the total vulnerability score and the average index derived above. This is viewed as the best measure to rate state vulnerability as it takes into account not only performance by airport but also accounts for the sheer number of airports in the state.

The resulting analysis results in a comprehensive ranking of small- and non-hub airports by their level of service vulnerability. By aggregating airports across entire state aviation systems, RASA² can identify areas where immediate action is necessary to prevent the loss of some or all commercial air service at the state’s smaller airports.