3.86 - The Role of Airports in Spatial Planning and Regional Development

Project Description

The importance of airports in regional development has been discussed in several studies, especially focusing on economic, environmental, social and territorial impacts. However, few address the influence and role of airports in planning processes, despite these being a fundamental component of transport infrastructure that affects the spatial organisation of cities and regions. The aim of this research is therefore to understand the relationship of airports with spatial planning and the influence of spatial planning processes on airport operations. To achieve this objective, we will analyse (1) the way airports, through their operators, relate to planning instruments, especially where airports are under private responsibility; (2) the role of airports as an engine of regional development and their role in planning processes, and (3) the articulation between airport operators and policy makers in defining joint strategies for regional development and urban policies. Thus, we aim to draw the attention of planners, policy makers, airport operators, as well as other airport stakeholders, to the challenges of greater integration of airports into the territory and territorial policies. We also seek to provide an academic framework, contributing to bridging the gap that currently exists in research. Through the analysis of examples, where articulation existed, we intend to demonstrate that this favourable environment for greater cooperation resulted in territorial, economic and social development and enhanced greater territorial cohesion.


Research Team

  • João Pedro Martins
  • Álvaro Costa (supervisor)
  • Carlos Oliveira Cruz (co-supervisor)

Financial support

  • FCT - UI/BD/151236/2021.

State of Progress

  • Started in 2021