Changes in Air Transport Connectivity of Russian Cities in 1990–2015
The paper concerns changes in air transport connectivity of Russia’s territory for the period of 1990–2015 by aggregating of adjacent airports and air hubs in 20 air clusters. The dynamics of air passenger traffic between large cities is considered as an indicator of changes in the territorial structure of the economy and population distribution in the country. Analysis has shown that disintegration of a complex, polycentric, and well-developed system of neighboring air links has taken place in post-Soviet Russia. Structure of this system has become much simpler, with pronounced overcentralization of Moscow (instead of the previous centralization) and reduction of the power of attraction of second- and third-order interregional centers. Divisional fragmentation and shrinkage of the socioeconomic space in not only the Asian but also the European part of the country have occurred. Current Russian airline system is characterized by weak neighborhood connectivity. A slow disintegration process between the western and eastern parts of the country is going.