Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2018, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (10): 1485-1499.doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1557-y

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Air transportation in China: Temporal and spatial evolution and development forecasts

Xiangli WU(), Shan MAN   

  1. Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Monitoring of Geographic Environment of Heilongjiang Province, Harbin Normal University, Harbin 150025, China
  • Received:2018-01-10 Accepted:2018-03-30 Online:2018-10-25 Published:2019-01-04
  • About author:

    Author: Wu Xiangli (1964-), Professor, specialized in urbanization and regional development. E-mail: jndxwxl@163.com

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41171433;Philosophy and Social Science Foundation of China, No.16BJY039

Abstract:

This paper analyses the features and dynamic changes of the spatial layout of air transportation utilization among different provinces in China. It makes use of data for the airport throughput and socio-economic development of every province throughout the country in the years 2006 and 2015, and employs airport passenger and cargo throughput per capita and per unit of GDP as measures of regional air transportation utilization, which is significant for refining indicators of regional air transportation scale and comparing against them. It also analyzes the spatial differences of coupling between the regional air transportation utilization indicators and the key influencing factors on regional air transportation demand and utilization, which include per capita GDP, urbanization rate, and population density. Based on these key influencing factors, it establishes a multiple linear regression model to conduct forecasting of each province’s future airport passenger and cargo throughput as well as throughput growth rates. The findings of the study are as follows: (1) Between 2006 and 2015, every province throughout the country showed a trend of year on year growth in their airport passenger and cargo throughput per capita. Throughput per capita grew fastest in Hebei, with a rise of 780%, and slowest in Beijing, with a rise of 38%. Throughput per capita was relatively high in western and southeastern coastal regions, and relatively low in northern and central regions. Airport passenger and cargo throughput per unit of GDP showed growth in provinces with relatively slow economic development, and showed negative growth in provinces with relatively rapid economic development. Throughput per unit of GDP grew fastest in Hebei, rising 265% between 2006 and 2015, and Hunan had the fastest negative growth, with a fall of 44% in the same period. Southwestern regions had relatively high throughput per unit of GDP, while in central, northern, and northeastern regions it was relatively low. (2) Strong correlation exists between airport passenger and cargo throughput per capita and per capita GDP, urbanization rate, and population density. Throughput per capita has positive correlation with per capita GDP and urbanization rate in all regions, and positive correlation with population density in most regions. Meanwhile, there is weak correlation between airport passenger and cargo throughput per unit of GDP and per capita GDP, urbanization rate, and population density, with positive correlation in some regions and negative correlation in others. (3) Between 2015 and 2025, it is estimated that all provinces experience a trend of rapid growth in their airport passenger and cargo throughput. Inner Mongolia and Hebei will see the fastest growth, rising 221% and 155%, respectively, while Yunnan, Sichuan, and Hubei will see the slowest growth, with increases of 62%, 63%, and 65%, respectively.

Key words: air transportation utilization, temporal and spatial patterns, influencing factors, development forecasting, China