Journal of Air Transport Management, vol.106, 2023 (SSCI)
© 2022 Elsevier LtdAir travel connects people and goods across vast geographical regions. However, operational inter-dependencies in the air transportation system due to factors such as aircraft, crew, and passenger connectivity also result in the spread of disruptions in the system. Our work uses tools from network science and control theory to characterize the relation between the inter-connectivity (i.e., network structure, both in terms of flights and delays) and the robustness of the air transportation system. These methods are applied to characterize the resilience of the air transportation networks in the United States (US) and Europe by considering the flight and delay network structures and delay dynamics. Our study reveals that stronger inter-connectivity in the US makes the system more susceptible to disruptions that spread rapidly. However, we also find that this higher connectivity enables greater flexibility and controllability while recovering from disruptions.