Gao creates tools to determine how customers decide their preferred airport

Yi Gao, an associate professor in Purdue Polytechnic’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology, recently completed a project sponsored by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.

The project relates to airports’ “catchment areas,” essentially the origin points of their passengers, from various data sources. The deliverables of the project include a final report and an interactive, web-based tool.

The catchment area of an airport encompasses areas where passengers are more likely to use the subject airport, even when there are other airport options in the vicinity. Gao’s web-based tool, based on his research data, assumes that travelers choose the departing airport that offers the highest utility, with utility measured by the overall cost of the itinerary. In this context, higher utility corresponds to lower cost.

The project has economic and logistical implications for airports, airlines and other travel-related service providers. The total list of contributors to the project includes:

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research Board; Airport Cooperative Research Program; Yi Gao; Jin Wei-Kocsis; Ningning Nicole Kong; Sen Wang; Gavin Duncan; Daniel Skwarek; Levi Anstine

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