GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (6): 1512-1526.doi: 10.11821/dlyj020170970

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Regional service capability structure and spatial pattern of civil airports: A case study of Yangtze River Economic Belt

Wei WU(), Youhui CAO(), Shuangbo LIANG, Lulu ZHANG, Weichen LIU   

  1. Key Laboratory of Watershed Geographic Sciences, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
  • Received:2017-10-16 Revised:2018-09-06 Online:2019-06-20 Published:2019-06-12


Based on the integrity of air transportation process, this paper suggests that regional services capacity of civil airports should depend on the connectivity between airport and its hinterland through road transportation system, and the one between different airports through airline network. Based on this, the evaluation methods of airport landside, airside and comprehensive service capability were constructed. The empirical study shows that airport service capacities of landside, airside and comprehensive service are significantly different. The degree of difference in the airside is significantly higher than that of the landside, and the comprehensive service capacity is the lowest. The airport differences among the Yangtze River Delta, middle reaches of the Yangtze River and the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, along with airport differences within these regions are two main reasons accounting for overall landside service capacity differences of the Yangtze Economic Belt. However, differences among airports within the regions stand as the main contributors to the overall difference in airside service capacity and comprehensive service capacity. According to the natural interval of the index, the airport service capacity can be divided into five grades: high, relatively high, medium, relatively low, low, and the structure characteristic of landside, airside and comprehensive service capacity presents a pyramid type. In terms of spatial pattern, affected by the development of highway network, regional economy and population density, the service capability of landside is descending from the Yangtze River Delta to the upper reaches. Affected by the economic and social characteristics, integrated transportation development and competition, airside service capacity of the Yangtze River Delta and the upper reaches is higher than that of the middle reaches, presenting a "saddle shaped" pattern. Comprehensive service capacity in urban areas connected by Shanghai-Chengdu and Shanghai-Kunming axes is relatively higher than that of their hinterlands. There is an obvious core-periphery pattern in the three main regions, but the overall level is descending from the Yangtze River Delta to the upper reaches.

Key words: regional service capacity, civil airport, hierarchical structure, spatial pattern, Yangtze River Economic Belt