Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics

Analyzing the Role of Air‐Transportation in COVID‐19 Pandemic Disaster


COVID‐19 pandemic has caused a worldwide lockdown and a complete stoppage of all nonessential activities. In particular, it has affected air travel which is a significant driver of the global economy through the movement of people and goods. It is essential to understand the impact and contribution of air travel to epidemic spread for developing targeted and limited restrictions to have a minimal economic impact. In this proposal, we will address the impact of air travel on the pandemic both at the scale of the entire country and at the level of airports.

The ongoing COVID‐19 pandemic data can be considered as Spatio-temporal point data scattered all over the world. We will utilize Hawkes point process model to decluster this point data in terms of air‐travel related cases or background events and the local spread cases which are off‐springs of these background cases. This understanding can play a crucial role in devising strategies to micro‐target and mitigate emergency transportation disruptions.

Experience with past pandemics indicates a distinct possibility of second and third waves as social distancing measures are relaxed. Air travel is central to economic recovery but can lead to mixing of susceptible and infected passengers. We will utilize our past work to develop agent based models of pedestrian movement and COVID‐19 spread to devise transportation policies regarding crowd management that will mitigate the second wave of COVID ‐19 as travel returns to normal levels.

CATM Research Affiliates: Sirish Namilae (ERAU: lead), Dahai Liu (ERAU)