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Frontiers in Built Environment is delighted to reveal the winners of the fourth Joseph M Sussman Prize celebrating the best articles published in the Transportation and Transit Systems section of the journal:

Aleksandar Bauranov, Steven Parks, Xuan Jiang, Jasenka Rakas, Marta C González: “Quantifying the Resilience of the US Domestic Aviation Network During the Covid-19 Pandemic”

The award-winning study selected this year provides valuable insights into the impacts of Covid-19 pandemic on the United States air transportation network.

“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, airlines dramatically reduced their flights, especially between March and August 2020.  As a result, 24% of airports closed. However, we found that the US aviation network’s efficiency dropped by only 5%, where efficiency is measured as the availability of paths between any two chosen airports. Maintaining high efficiency incurred a cost, causing emissions per passenger to be doubled. We also observed that an airport’s size was by far the best predictor of its closure, with smaller, regional airports being most adversely affected. Grants administered by the Federal Aviation Administration are the second best predictor in our model, indicating that financial aid distributed to airports in some cases made a difference between them closing and remaining open. Our methods can be used to test scenarios of airport closures while monitoring changes in efficiency and emissions per passenger.
Steven Parks, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Joseph M Sussman award was created to commemorate the legacy of late specialty chief editor of the section, Prof Joseph M Sussman from Massachusetts Institute of Technology JR East. The prize recognizes contributions that have high potential to significantly improve the sustainability of our modern transit systems. The winners this year were selected in collaboration with the current section specialty chief editors Sakdirat Kaewunruen from the University of Birmingham and Akira Matsumoto from Nihon University.


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