TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (5): 599-605.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003073

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Evolutionary Configuration of Hub Airport Network in China: A k-Core Network Model Experience

MO Huihui1,WANG Jiao’e2,3,HUANG Jie2   

  1. (1.China Academy of Civil Aviation Science and Technology,Beijing 100028,China;2.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100101,China;3.College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100049,China)
  • Online:2018-09-05 Published:2018-09-05


Hub airport play a critical role in air transportation network, because they are responsible for delivering passengers and cargos from a spoke to another spoke airport as well as network efficiency.Moreover, they are regarded as the major part of transport infrastructure in regional planning, as they support socio-economic development. This paper proposes a k-Core network model to describe the hub airport network system so that we can quantify the evolutionary configuration of hub airport network in China from 1990 to 2015.We find that the maximum k-core tends to increase further and the threshold of hub airports enlarged. The numbers of hub airport went up from 26 to 36 in China in the period studied, while that in European and American aviation network remained.Two variations have been captured in structural characteristics. First, the connectivity ratio grew from 7.1 to 15.4,which indicates an allometric growth. Second, the average path length decreased from 1.32 to 1.12, which indicates that the network presented a small-world phenomenon with high network efficiency. The passenger volume and cargo throughput are highly concentrated and delivered via hub airports.In 2015, 86.7 percent of passenger volume and 95.1 percent of cargo throughput were delivered via hub airports.But the high concentration tends to decline in recent 10 years. With hub airports delimitated by k-core model, this paper investigates air transportation network from an aspect of network structure rather than network scales or airport attributes. Therefore, this paper reveals planning strategies which embed ideas of scale preference and regional equilibrium.These findings may be useful for airport system planning.

Key words: hub airport, network system, k-core, organization efficiency, air transportation