Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Alfred Hecht

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


In 1987 the Canadian National Transportation Act was amended. Airlines became free to enter/exit markets as they saw fit, and a network-wide reform of airline services began. This thesis examines the extent of network development since 1970, and attempts to determine the some of the spatial effects of the 1987 deregulation of the airline industry on nodal accessibility. Accessibility is a relative term and difficult to define explicitly. While it can be measured in distance or time, it may also be measured as the frequency of links between places over time. In this thesis the connectivity among places is used as a surrogate for accessibility, and the presence or absence of a link between places selected, indicates the level of accessibility. Data from origin-destination surveys, and contemporary industry journals in 1970, 1983 and 1990 were analyzed among 149 settlements in Canada. Comparisons are made between the spatial pattern of intercity connectivity for the pre- and post-deregulation periods. Structural and service provisions are examined to determine the extent of change in the industry, and how these have led to changes in accessibility between places. Hypotheses about the effects of deregulation on nodal accessibility are tested using multiple linear regression models. Although the Canadian domestic market has experienced rapid growth within the past two decades, several of the dramatic changes occurred during the first decade. Further, although deregulation in the United States has shown a propensity for destructive competition, and community-based changes have benefitted largermarkets (to the detriment of smaller communities), similar changes have not occurred in Canada. The results show that post-deregulation spatial strategies have not produced a spatial concentration of nodal accessibility, as originally feared.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season