EXPLORING MULTI-CRITERIA DECISION ANALYSIS METHOD AS A TOOL TO CHOOSE REGIONAL AIRPORT HUBS WITHIN AFRICA
Free (open access)
Volume 5 (2010), Issue 2
83 - 97
The aviation industry in the African region, in order to compete with the global market, is exploring and actively pursing expansion either through strategic alliances or by adopting the hub and spoke (H&S) network development. Hubbing has the major benefi ts of consolidating passengers, thus increasing frequency of travel while increasing accessibility and improving the economies of scale to operate the service. The African region is vast and is characterised by sparse passenger demand; therefore, the decisions made in locating airports as hubs pose a challenge. This paper aims to explore the use of the multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) tools as a method of choosing hub airports. The reason why the MCDA tools are most appropriate is because choosing a hub airport is a complex decision which has to take into account various issues like: network costs, infrastructure costs, security, economic viability, safety, passenger travel time expenditure, etc. The various tools, processes and methodologies used in decision making theory are explored and applied in order to choose hub airports with the lowest transport costs in an efficient H&S network. The major findings in this study show that because Africa has a sparse network, with a few role players, the choice in hub location options relies greatly on the cost of routing passengers through the hub airport. MCDA is shown to be a useful tool whose only limitation is maintaining the uniformity of weighting the criteria for the whole region.
Africa aviation, airports, decision analysis, hub location, network design