Importance of aviation in higher education
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonSolvoll, G. & Hanssen, T.-E. S. (2018). Importance of aviation in higher educatoin. Journal of Air Transport Management, 72, 47-55. doi: 10.1016/j.jairtraman.2018.08.001
Air transport is particularly important for countries with geographically scattered settlements, where ground transport can be time consuming. Norway is one such country, and Norwegian authorities regard aviation as a regional policy instrument; therefore, they procure unprofitable air services in rural areas. To increase human capital in rural areas, Norway has a decentralised system of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). This paper evaluates the importance of aviation to this HEI system and estimates the welfare effects from aviation on their students and employees. We found that the number of job-related air trips completed by HEI employees is significantly higher than the average number of business trips in Norwegian enterprises. The number of air trips per HEI employee are highest in the regions furthest from the capital; as such, the welfare effects of aviation are greatest for HEIs in the most peripheral regions. To maintain the positive effect of aviation on HEIs, effective flight connections and the establishment of meeting venues where the HEIs management, airline representatives, airport management, and politicians can discuss measures to increase the benefits for HEIs and society are crucial.