Airport infrastructure and regional development, a case for resurrecting the growth pole concept

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Crockatt, Michael A.
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Growth poles are a geographic/economic phenomenon, sometimes planned to encourage regional development, but sometimes occurring naturally in a region. A growth pole is a spatial agglomeration of firms that expand, inducing economic development in the surrounding region. Growth poles, too, require transportation infrastructure to be effective. This study argues the case for cargo-based airports as growth poles. With the continued expansion of global air cargo, airports are being planned to encourage airport-related regional development. Three successful cargo-based growth pole airports in the United States are Fort Worth Alliance Airport (Fort Worth, TX), Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (Dallas-Fort Worth, TX), and Huntsville International Airport (Huntsville, AL): all of which are examined in this thesis. Winnipeg is frequently touted as being an excellent cargo airport, with the potential to act as a growth pole for its region. This study assesses whether Winnipeg International Airport can have thesame impact regionally as the case studies in the United States. The results expose some fundamental differences between Winnipeg and its counterparts in the United States. However, they also show that Winnipeg has many of the requisite characteristics and competitive advantages to become a successful cargo-based growth pole airport. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)