Degree Name

Master of Public Administration

Department or Program

Political Science


Dr. David A. NewMyer


Throughout the past decade the aviation industry in the United States has continually encountered significant socio-economic burdens. Most notable, the tragic events of September 11th left the industry highly susceptible to economic turmoil, such as the global recession accentuated by record high fuel prices, as well as sociological events like the world pandemic in the form of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The nation’s airports, the infrastructure supporting this industry, are no exception. In conjunction with these onerous events, continuing cuts in intergovernmental funding sources, as well as weakened revenue streams, have forced airports to utilize contemporary tools, strategies, and techniques to reinforce traditional management functions. Social media platforms such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Foursquare, are a growing trend throughout various public and private industries to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and overall yield in regard to marketing and communication strategies. Consistent with New Public Management and the reinvention of government in the 1980s, conducive of cost-efficiency and customer-centric approaches, airports utilize social media to increase self-sufficiency by reducing expenditures associated with traditional marketing and communication modes. In addition, social media technologies enable airports to more effectively target, engage, and foster two-way communication with a multitude of audiences.

This study provides an overview of these popular social media services. This study empirically examines, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the current usage of social media throughout Primary Commercial Service airports. Statistics on airport usage, best practices and case studies are provided, supporting preliminary guidance on the use of social media at airports.