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Airport Operations

Airport Operations

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Executive summary

Demand for the Airport Operations industry is influenced by trends in domestic and international air travel. Over the five years to 2022, industry revenue has experienced a significant amount of volatility as consistent growth at the beginning of the period was offset by hampered demand in the latter portion. Overall, lightly competing enterprises benefited from economic growth, which led to increased spending on air travel among businesses and consumers.
Similarly, an increase in the number of high-income households spiked demand for private air travel services. While these dynamics precipitated revenue growth, unprecedented disruption from the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic offset some early period gains, causing industry revenue to increase at an annualized rate of just 3.0% to $11.8 billion over the five years to 2022. This included a 3.4% decrease in 2020, with 6.3% recovery expected in 2022.
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Each report includes:

industry revenue;

industry profit;

industry margin;

industry employment;

industry major players;

industry key external drivers;

industry product & structure segmentation;

industry key trends;

industry Life Cycle;

industry Geographic Breakdown;

industry Key Success Factors;

industry Key statistics for previous years;

forecast of industry Key statistics for the next 5 years;

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Reference Wordlist

High barriers to entry mean that new companies struggle to enter an industry, while low barriers mean it is easy for new companies to enter an industry.

Compares the amount of money spent on capital (plant, machinery and equipment) with that spent on labor.
IBISWorld uses the ratio of depreciation to wages as a proxy for capital intensity. High capital intensity is more than $0.333 of capital to $1 of labor; medium is $0.125 to $0.333 of capital to $1 of labor; low is less than $0.125 of capital for every $1 of labor.

The dollar figures in the Key Statistics table, including forecasts, are adjusted for inflation using the current year (i.e. year published) as the base year. This removes the impact of changes in the purchasing power of the dollar, leaving only the "real" growth or decline in industry metrics. The inflation adjustments in IBISWorld’s reports are made using the US Bureau of Economic Analysis’ implicit GDP price deflator.

Spending on industry goods and services within the United States, regardless of their country of origin. It is derived by adding imports to industry revenue, and then subtracting exports.

The number of permanent, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees, working proprietors, partners, managers and executives within the industry.

Colloquial Terminology

A government agency that develops technology, technical information and standards and practices to promote the safe operation of the civil aircraft fleet.

An enterprise, usually private, that provides aircraft refueling, taxis, parking, hangar space and ramps.

Fees collected by airports that are used for capital projects determined by the FAA.


The Airport Operations industry is characterized by a disparity between operator sizes and government involvement.
Large hubs, defined as airports that handle more than 1.0% of the country's annual passenger boarding, comprise the lion's share of the industry's revenue and operating income. These major airports, such as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, are able to command higher landing fees and rental rates for their buildings, causing these operators to experience substantial profit. Despite this disparity, smaller public operators experience unusually stable revenue streams from government sources. Public funding allowed operators to retain a 6.1% loss in 2022 despite huge pandemic cost increases.

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