Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Jets From Dayton: Measuring Connectivity via Air Travel

How connected is Dayton? Ground transportation is via Greyhound, which is pretty basic and slow (no passenger rail for decades), which leaves scheduled airline flights as the way to go for long distance travel.

Dayton used to be a hub in the post-CAB hub-and-spoke air travel system, from 1982 to 1992, ending with the disappearance of Piedmont into US Air (the hub terminal is still there, vacant). Today, Dayton feeds into other hubs, and this pattern of hub connections illustrates what regions Dayton is close too, in travel time.

The map below shows the volume of non-stop weekday flights (Wednesday). This is actually fairly impressive, indicating a high degree of connectivity with the Southeast (including the old Piedmont hub at Charlotte), the National Capital Region (DC and Baltimore), and especially Chicago, which just dominates nonstop flights. Connections are much weaker to points west, to the various hubs west of the Mississippi.

Ranking the destinations, one can see how Chicago dominates with 17 flights, and all of this is going to O’Hare. After this comes Charlotte, with 15 flights.

(a bit of an eye chart, click on the image and it will enlarge)

For Washington, the flights break out this way:

  • Dulles (the international airport): 7
  • Reagan (domestic hub): 4
  • Baltimore-Washington: 3

So some very good connections to the National Capital Region, which is to be expected given Dayton’s significance within the defense community.

For New York 7 flights go to LaGuardia, with 3 to Newark.

Closer regional connections are to Detroit, Cleveland, and Cincinnati, all hub airports.

What’s interesting is the non-hub activity, the low volume one-flight-per-day connections. The connections to Florida might appear as tourist flights, but they go to regions of the state that also had the highest out-migration from Dayton, so I suspect not all tourist flights.

Then there are those inexplicable flights to Little Rock and Milwaukee (not clear if the Little Rock flight is a true non-stop, but it originates in Dayton and terminates in Little Rock) , and the flights to Toronto, which makes Dayton an “international” airport.

For global connectivity, most of the hubs Dayton flies to have international connections. O’Hare, Atlanta, and Dulles are particularly well-known as international entreports hosting foreign flag carriers.

Looking at volume of scheduled flights is one way of looking at connectivity. Even more interesting is to see where the actual passenger destinations are, over the course of a week or month. Information that is most likely proprietary, thus unavailable.


Anonymous said...

Think you may have over-counted number of flights. Codeshares might be the reason. Daily departures from DAY are in the 75-85 range. Also, there is no nonstop to Little Rock

Anonymous said...

There might be flights to LIT, as well as other small markets owing to general aviation and cargo flights.