January 26 — Megan Ryerson
Assistant Professor, Department of City and Regional Planning and Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
“Incentivize It and They Will Come: How Local Governments are Leveraging Airline Incentive Programs to Grow Air Service.”
Dr. Megan S. Ryerson is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of City & Regional Planning and Electrical & Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Ryerson received a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2010 and a BS in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. Professor Ryerson’s expertise is in air transportation systems planning, airline operations, and intercity multimodal transportation planning. Professor Ryerson has published over 15 articles investigating the costs and environmental impacts of municipally-funded airline subsidy programs, the environmental impact of airline contingency fueling practices, optimizing aircraft diversions in a climate-impacted future, estimating the spatial differences in human health impacts of aircraft across the U.S., and comparing the environmental impact of aviation and High Speed Rail Systems. She serves on the Board of Advisors of The Eno Center for Transportation, the Program Committee for the International Conference on Research in Air Transportation, two Transportation Research Board committees, and she was recently appointed by the Secretary of Transportation to serve on the Airport Cooperative Research Program Oversight Committee. In 2015 Professor Ryerson was named “Woman of the Year” by the Women’s Transportation Seminar Philadelphia Chapter.
City officials have long sought to attract air traffic to their airports to stimulate economic development. Following a wave of airline mergers and federal policy guidance on airport and municipally-funded airline incentive programs, a number of large cities and their airports began directly subsidizing airlines with thousands to millions of dollars to launch new flights. In the seminar I will present my estimation of the costs and environmental impacts of these incentive programs and explore the urban and airport characteristics that are correlated with “successful” incentive programs.
Discussant: Peter Gordon, Emeritus Professor at USC Price School of Public Policy