Airports’ Role and Operations in the International Environment

Living reference work entry


An airport is a set of facilities that comprises of buildings, runways, apron areas, roads, and space connectors and constitutes the connector between surface and air transport. An airport is planned to serve passenger, cargo, and aircraft movements in its facilities.

Airports as Part of the International Transport System

Airports, almost 100 years after the birth of aviation in Ohio by Wright brothers, continue connecting facilities between surface and air transport and, in some cases, being the only alternative for people’s long-distance trips. Air transport allows people from all over the world to connect to other places, cultures, and, eventually, opportunities through the infrastructure of over 40,000 airports that operate worldwide, 1200 of which are international airports and 17,370 unique city-pair routes (flights) that connect the airports among them (ATAG 2017).

Air is the fastest and safest means of transport (Savage 2013). Airports compete mainly with high-speed...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ISCTE – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Business Research Unit (BRU-IUL) LisbonPortugal

Section editors and affiliations

  • Heather Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.CESUR, Center for Urban and Regional Systems, Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal