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Case Airport Authority – Case Studies and Essay Questions

Case Airport Authority

The Airport Authority (AA) has been under considerable pressure from the Regional Government to increase capacity at Changwon Airport. Originally built fifty years ago as a small regional airport serving a population of 250 000, Changwon’s single runway is at full capacity for 20 hours of the day. The region’s population has climbed to over 5 million and much of this growth in air travel is due to the rapid economic expansion of the region from industry and tourism.

The options facing the AA are not attractive. To increase capacity at Changwon presents some serious engineering problems on the only available land to the north, over which a new runway must be built. The problems are due to local geology and some regular flooding from the Hanks River delta flowing nearby. A residential population of about 1 million lives within an area of 15 kilometers to the north of the airport and they believe that their lives would be affected severely by a major new runway.

Moreover, economic developments close to the airport crowd right up to the southern boundary, which is the only suitable means of access from Changwon city for a wider road. The land close to the east and west boundaries contains mainly high-income residential properties, mixed with isolated green sites, containing rare natural plants, exotic birds, and other small wildlife. The State Government recently designated some of these areas as ‘National Heritage Sites.’

The other option is to build a completely new airport at Fongow, at a distance of forty kilometers from Changwon, in agricultural land, presently farmed by thousands of small holders, whose families have worked the land there for many generations. New access roads would be needed, plus, perhaps a railway system which would require many bridges and tunnels, and the airport would be close to high wooded hills. There are doubts about the operational feasibility of building an airport so far from the regional capital.

The local political representatives, all members of the governing coalition, favor expansion of Changwon airport on the grounds of ‘national economic development,’ ‘social progress’ and national pride. So does local business, which claims that the current airport is holding back economic expansion in the region. Airport passengers, business, and tourist alike are plagued by long delays to flights and missed connections, and traffic jams during access and egress along the airport’s single and inadequate southern road to Changwon city.

Public disquiet about proposals to expand Changwon airport have surfaced and are attracting media interest. The main opposition comes from residents around the airport, though they do not yet form a majority. On the southern boundary, people living along the main road to the airport oppose widening the road because this would mean demolishing many thousands of homes. People living just behind these houses oppose widening because this brings the new road right up to their properties. A ‘Homes Before Roads’ campaign is underway.

People to the north oppose a new airport runway because of the impact during construction and afterward on the residents who would have to move to make way for it, and on those left behind, who would be near aircraft taking off and landing. A ‘Hands off the Hanks’ campaign has been formed.

Assume that you were asked to advise the State Government on how to defuse opposition to the new runway. What answers would you give to the following questions?

  1. What are the interests of residents who oppose the new runway?(8 marks)
  2. What negotiable issues might serve those interests?(8 marks)
  3. What are the interests of the state government?(8 marks)
  4. What negotiable issues might serve the state government’s interests?(8 marks)
  5. Is there a potential overlap on the positions of the residents and the State Government? (8 marks)

Total of 40 marks

Essay Question 2

How does the concept of the negotiator’s surplus assist the analysis of practical negotiation problems?

(20 marks)

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