Canada’s Airports: The Economic Basis for a Not-For-Profit Governance Structure. William G. Morrison.
A Critique article name: Canada’s Airports: The Economic Basis for a Not-For-Profit Governance Structure. William G. Morrison,
This article lacks an abstract, perhaps owing to its short length (only 6 pages). Instead, what the author did was to head direct to the introduction which elucidates scope of the paper in greater detail. The author also used the introduction as an opportunity to describe the research problem: Canada’s airport governance and the concerns around airport privatization; as well to state the study’s primary objective, which was to create an economic model for comparing the decisions and impacts of a not-for-profit airport run by the government with those of the for-profit airport operated by private investors. Although the author briefly mentions that his approach to the study will involve a relatively simple economic model – the dual-till model of airport operations – he fails to provide a snapshot of his findings/conclusions in the introductory part, which forces the reader to read the whole article or skip to the conclusion section to understand the findings. This is a limitation of the article, considering that some readers may find it time-consuming to read or skim through the whole paper.
One of the key strengths in Morrison’s paper lies in the relevance of its research problem. Indeed, the problem of high travel costs, particularly air transport, is among the major issues that have continued to plague majority of Canadians, and prioritizing the country’s transport operations will only serve to exacerbate the problem. As such, by comparing the benefits of the current no-for-profit (NFP) governance to the proposed for-profit (FP) governance using the dual-till model, the paper will inform policy makers when it comes to deciding whether to privatize air transport operations or not. Another key strength that permeates Morrison’s paper is the use of illustrations, diagrams and charts to support his argument on why benefits of the NFP governance model surpass those of the FP model. specifically, the paper makes use of one table and five figures/illustrations, which not only makes the arguments and concepts presented easier to understand but also makes the paper more professional.
The fact that Morrison’s paper addressed a tangible and relevant problem in the society – high travel costs that may come with privatization of airport operations – and used diagrams to enhance the readers’ understanding of presented concepts does not mean that the paper is not free of weaknesses. The first weakness relates to its cumbersome structure. The paper does not follow the typical format of a research paper; that is, abstract, introduction, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion, and recommendations or implications for future research. Instead, there is only the introduction; and methodology, results, discussion and conclusion are fused together to form the other section. Such a structure makes it difficult to read or understand the paper as readers are left with the responsibility to figure out where each section fits in the paper. Given this weakness/limitation, the author can improve this paper by using the recommended format as well as by stating the paper’s limitations and implications for future research,
Implicit Economic Model in the case
The author utilized the dual-till model of airport operations because such a model provides a groundwork (dual tills of landside and airside operations) upon which the benefits and shortcomings of each of the two airport governance systems can be evaluated.
What did you learn?
I found this paper quite informative and fascinating in all respects. One of the things that intrigued me more was the realization that privatizing Canada’s air transport operations will but increase air travel costs. Another key takeaway concerns the dual nature on transport operations; namely, the airside and landside operations.
Grade for this paper?
Considering the aforementioned strengths and weaknesses, I would give this paper a B grade.