Tracking COVID-19 with Air Travel Data: Rand

Rand Corporation researchers have developed a Covid-19 air-traffic visualization tool that combines case data from Johns Hopkins University with travel data from the International Air Transport Association. “Together, these data sets make it possible to visualize how coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections and commercial air travel have interacted to export infection risk across the world,” reports Rand. The tool can help in predicting infection patterns and “As a result, policymakers, analysts, and others can estimate the impact of travel-related policy interventions, such as restricting air travel from various countries.” Researchers can also use the tool to assess the accuracy of official reports on confirmed cases. The tool identified eight countries at highest risk of importing Covid-19 from China in late January – Japan, Thailand, South Korea, the United States, Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia – and a week later the eight countries had the most confirmed cases outside China. The world will not contain the pandemic or improve the global economy if countries engage in under-reporting, premature reopening of economies, and failure to encourage social distancing and face masks. The researchers continue to refine the tool to account for province- and state-level data. – YaleGlobal

Tracking COVID-19 with Air Travel Data: Rand

Rand researchers develop a Covid-19 air-traffic visualization tool that combines data on confirmed cases with travel data – for assessing risks of countries
Russell Hanson, Christopher A. Mouton, Adam R. Grissom and John P. Godges
Monday, June 15, 2020

Read the article from Rand Corporation) about a new Covid-19 travel data tracking tool.

Caveats of the Rand Covid-19 Tracking Tool:

  • International travelers represent a small population subgroup for many countries.
  • The tool relies on confirmed cases and case counts could be higher.
  • Reliance on inaccurage tests could elevate case counts.

Russell Hanson is a research software engineer at the RAND Corporation. He holds bachelor's degrees in computer science and astrophysics.

Christopher A. Mouton is a senior aerospace engineer at the RAND Corporation. He leads research on air operations, special mission aviation, and personnel recovery. He holds a PhD in aeronautics.

Adam R. Grissom is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. He leads research on special operations, airpower, and innovation and holds a PhD in war studies.

John P. Godges is a research communications analyst at the RAND Corporation. His work focuses on special mission analysis, security cooperation, and counterterrorism. He holds an MPP in public policy.

Covid-19 and Top Origin-Destination Air Passenger Markets: 2018 Market size (millions)	2020 Covid-19 Cases/1 mil population US 	587	6560 China	515	58 India	116	248 Indonesia	103, 144 Japan	94, 138 Brazil	72, 4113 Australia	57, 288 Russia	50, 3681 Mexico  43, 1139 Spain-UK 42, 5000 Turkey	40, 2114
Domestic markets outrank international markets – the top 12 markets account for almost half of the total number of origin of destination passenger journeys in 2018 (Source: World Air Transport Statistics 2019; IATA DDS)

Top Passenger Airport Pairs, 2018	 Middle East-SW Pacific, Beirut-Sydney	107,646 Afr-N Amer, Cairo-New York	177,703 Afr -Asia: Cairo-Guangzhou	189,089 Within Afr, Harare-Johannesburg	476,748 Eur-SW Pacific, London-Sydney	522,087 Middle East-N Amer, New York-Tel Aviv	709,036 Afr-Eur, Paris-St. Denis de la Reunion	767,975 Asia-SW Pacific, Bali-Perth	843,001 Eur-Latin Amer/Car, Paris-Pointe-a-Pitre	871,247 Latin Amer/Car-N Amer, Buenos Aires-Miami	917,678 Asia-Eur, Hong Kong-London	953,920 Within Latin Amer/Car, Lima-Santiago	965,075 Asia-Middle East, Mumbai-Dubai	1,157,267 Within SW Pacif, Auckland-Sydney	1,172,721 Withiin N Amer, New York-Toronto	1,188,429 Eur-Middle East, Dubai-London	1,317,472 Within Middle East, Dubai-Riyadh	1,359,135 Within Eur, Dusseldorf-Palma de Mallorca	1,392,673 Asia-N Amer, Honolulu-Tokyo	1,414,919 Afr-Middle East, Cairo-Jeddah	1,608,172 Eur-N Amer, New York-London	1,874,623 Within Asia, Hong Kong-Taipei	5,385,806
The top airport–pair rankings cover all scheduled traffic, on all airlines worldwide; data are bi-directional and include potential intermediate connections (Source: World Air Transport Statistics 2019)

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