SEO’s aviation department is a leading consultancy agent for aviation economics. In addition to projects in the Netherlands, the cluster is also an important international player.

Our researchers combine a scientific approach with targeted and practical conclusions and solutions. Their work is regularly published in scientific and professional journals in the field of aviation, and they provide lectures, educational programmes, and trainings.

Below you find more information on our main areas of expertise.

Sub expertise

How well is an airport connected to the rest of the world and what are the white spots in its network?

Airports facilitate accessibility. An extensive network of air connections ensures that passengers and freight can reach the most exotic locations quick and against low costs. This is why internationally oriented companies prefer to be located in the vicinity of an airport with a large network. The economic importance of accessibility only increases in a globalising world. Because of this, connectivity is gaining an increasingly prominent position in policy discussions.

With our unique NetScan connectivity model, we offer insight into the level of connectivity between airports and the rest of the world, and which airports are responsible for these connections. How good is the offered transfer product for transfer passengers, and which airports offer the most interconnections? Our connectivity analyses portray the competitive relationships and, at the same time, expose the strengths and weaknesses of aviation networks.

SEO annually conducts the Monitor Network Quality and State Guarantees on behalf of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. The monitor compares the connectivity offered from and via Europe’s largest airports. Furthermore, we annually publish the Airport Industry Connectivity Report. The report monitors the connectivity developments at airports affiliated to ACI EUROPE. Additionally, we conduct detailed connectivity analyses for airports and governments.

What are the socio-economic impacts of policy and business decisions?

Price increases and capacity restrictions increase the cost of air travel for consumers and businesses. At the same time flight supply is limited which benefits local communities and the climate. The various impacts can be compared by expressing them in monetary terms. To this end, SEO applies the methodology of the Social Cost-Benefit Analysis (SCBA).

We apply unique models to quantify the socio-economic impacts of policy and business decisions. Demand reactions of passengers and cargo shippers and their socio-economic impacts are modelled with our in-house developed NetCost and NetCargo models. Climate impacts are modelled with our own emissions model.

SEO has vast experience with estimating the socio-economic impacts of airport expansions. To determine which flights are most valuable from a socio-economic point of view, we are able to estimate the socio-economic contribution of individual flights. Furthermore we estimate the impacts of aviation taxes and other types of cost increasing measures.

How will demand for air traffic develop and when do capacity issues occur?

In order to make well-timed policy or investment decisions, it is of utmost importance to understand future traffic developments. Comparing the traffic forecast with available capacity indicated when and where capacity problems occur.

Our forecasting model not only considers economic and demographic developments but also trends within the aviation industry regarding costs, networks and business models. The model differentiates between different aviation markets, airlines, and types of passengers. This offers a detailed view of the development of different types of traffic on an airport. Emissions can also be linked to the forecasts.

The model has been successfully used for airport master planning. In addition, our forecasting model provides input for impact assessments, whereby impacts occur over a longer period of time.

How expensive is an airport compared to its competitors?

An airport’s appeal for airlines and passengers is determined, among other things, by the its cost level. SEO developed a unique methodology to compare airport charges and government levies at a fair basis. This offers insight in the price level of an airport compared to its rivals.

SEO annually performs the Benchmark Study on Airport Charges and Government Levies for the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. The analysis can also be part of a broader study on airport competitiveness.

What is the size and economic strength of an airport’s catchment area?

The success of a new flight operation depends to a large extent on local demand from its catchment area. Airports can use information on their catchment area in their marketing towards airlines.

Our unique Airport Catchment Area Database (ACAD) offers insight in the size and economic strength of airport catchment areas in Europe. The database offers a range of variables for each airport, including population size, GDP, employment, number of hotel beds, education level et cetera. The database is updated continuously. Data can be visualised through maps.

SEO offers the ACAD as a standalone product. In addition we offer data analyses on the market potential of new routes and competition between airports.

More information on the ACAD