August 6, 2011
Lex Aviatica in SSRN Top 10
Brian F. Havel and Gabriel S. Sanchez's latest article, The Emerging Lex Aviatica, 42 Geo. J. Int'l L. 639 (2011), is among the Top 10 Downloads for Antitrust & Trade Regulation from SSRN. For those who have not read the article, it is available here.
August 5, 2011
Air Transport Capacity
Blog readers may be interested in Tay Koo et al.'s Airport Capacity and Tourism Demand Interaction (July 31, 2011) (available from SSRN here). From the abstract:
The co-movement of air transport capacity and tourism demand are well-recognised. However, there exists a gap in understanding the relation between air transport capacity and demand such that the causal nature of these variables is rarely examined. The goal of this paper is to impose a cause-effect structure into the relation between tourism demand and air transport capacity. Specifically, we apply a vector error correction model (VECM) to help assess whether, and to what extent, capacity or passenger demand are first-movers that return long-run equilibrium following an event that punctuates the established equilibrium. Using data on international aviation between Australia and our test cases of China and Japan, we find that demand on Japan-Australia market correct for short-run deviations from the long-run equilibrium quicker than in the China-Australia market. Reasons for such variation in adjustment speeds are discussed and we show that the results are robust to the phenomenon of airlines pre-empting demand when setting capacity.
August 1, 2011
Balancing Capacity and the Environment
Blog readers interested in the role of environmental regulation in the aviation sector may want to read Timothy R. Wyatt's paper, Balancing Airport Capacity Requirements with Environmental Concerns: Legal Challenges to Airport Expansion (July 4, 2011) (available from SSRN here). From the abstract:
Regulatory agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must balance the need to expand airport capacity with concerns about environmental impact. This balance is governed by the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”), which establishes the environmental review procedures governing airport development activities that receive federal funding. This paper presents a comprehensive empirical study of legal challenges to airport expansion, focusing on the influence of environmental procedural statutes such as NEPA, as well as substantive environmental law including requirements in the federal airport funding statutes to minimize adverse environmental impacts. All known reported court opinions since the enactment of NEPA involving environmental challenges to airport construction and physical expansion were reviewed and characterized with respect to the factual background of the case, the form of the legal challenge, and the disposition of the reviewing court. A statistical regression analysis was performed to determine which factors significantly influence a court’s decision to approve the environmental review or to enjoin airport expansion pending further environmental review. The analysis demonstrates that environmental challenges to airport expansion have become significantly less likely to succeed over time, due in part to 2003 legislative changes requiring a coordinated environmental review process coordinated by the FAA, and granting exclusive jurisdiction to the U.S. Courts of Appeals for review of FAA final decisions. Environmental plaintiffs facing such a difficult judicial forum should focus their legal challenges on the most statistically effective arguments: that the FAA failed to adequately consider cumulative environmental impacts, and to a lesser degree, that the FAA or airport proprietor has failed to take every reasonable step to minimize the adverse environmental impact of airport expansion.