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Terminal 101 Linear Wayfinding Fewings40 refers to linear wayfinding as a sequential series of destinations. He also notes three key variables that affect the traveler's wayfinding experience: · Visual access · Architectural differentiation · Plan configuration Wayfinding indoors also follows the same intrinsic process of a series of problem solving tasks that allow the traveler to reach his or her destination. In other words, when trying to get to a destination, the traveler tends to make a decision to go to an intermediate destination, such as stairway, hallway or intersection point. Often, this may be simply to get to the end of their line of sight and to see what the next set of options may be. In a large airport terminal, some decisions are made for the traveler in that intermediate destinations have to be sequential; for example, a typ- ical sequence would include: check-in, security, passport control and departure gate in that order. In smaller terminal buildings, the traveler can immediately see the air- craft parked on the far side of the terminal but the same intermediate `obstacles' still have to be negotiated. Inside buildings, people use several cues or visual and spatial variables in order to find their way around. These variables include visual access, architectural differentiation and plan configuration. Internal design features also have an impact on wayfinding performance. Starting with visual access, when a person is trying to find a facility or location, or trying to get orientated within a building, it is easier to manage if there are landmarks associated with specific areas or zones. In addition, wayfinding is eased if there is direct visual access to the loca- tion that they are aiming towards; for example, as already mentioned, parked air- craft that are visible when passengers enter the terminal. Therefore, the extent to which different parts of the building can be seen from other parts of the building can have a direct effect on the ease of wayfinding within that environment. the mile-long concourse to the other to get to your gate. The wayfinding challenge is how to com- municate to a passenger if they should walk to their gate or ride the Express Tram? The directory shown in Figure 6.6 is well organized and helps orient passengers where they are in the concourse, but does not tell a passenger if it is quicker to walk or ride to their gate. The walk vs. ride issue at DTW has a two-part solution shown in Figures 6.6 and 6.7. The MUFIDs add an extra column on the far right to indicate if a passenger should ride the Express Tram. The directional signs in the concourse indicate specific gate ranges to passengers to ride the Express Tram for the quickest connection. A comprehensive design and planning approach at DTW helps provide the passenger with a positive wayfinding experience. 6.2 Considering Terminal Users in Design (Human Factors) 6.2.1 Terminal Users Categories There are a number of user groups that travel through airport terminal buildings. These include departing passengers, arriving passengers, passengers with a connecting flight, and non-
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102 Wayfinding and Signing Guidelines for Airport Terminals and Landside Figure 6.4. Passenger flow diagram used for planning purposes. Red and blue dashed lines represent typical passenger circulation paths to help identify each decision point in the wayfinding journey. travelling visitors who are picking up or dropping off passengers. Terminal users include famil- iar and unfamiliar passengers and visitors. In addition, users may have physical, visual, cogni- tive disabilities that may make the wayfinding task more challenging. Unfamiliar passengers may have added stress from fatigue or jetlag. The wayfinding system must consider and accommo- date all terminal visitors and passengers. 6.2.2 Terminal User Tasks and Information Requirements Passengers can be separated into three basic types: departing, arriving, and connecting. Within these three types, a passenger can also be classified as a domestic or international passenger. Accounting for the information requirements for all of the various passenger combinations is a tedious but important step in developing a well planned wayfinding system. 18.104.22.168 Departing Passengers A typical wayfinding task for the departing passenger includes the following wayfinding chain elements: entrance, ticketing counter, security checkpoint and airline gate. In addition to these,
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Terminal 103 Image courtesy of: Boston Logan International Airport. Figure 6.5. "Making Connections" at BOS is a good example of the type of planning and communication that can help overcome the complexity of architectural configuration. Figure 6.6. Airport directory map at DTW.
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104 Wayfinding and Signing Guidelines for Airport Terminals and Landside Figure 6.7. MUFIDs and directional signing at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne Airport (DTW). other secondary destinations should also be considered such as elevators, washrooms, telephones, frequent traveler lounges, stores, Internet stations, currency exchange counters and information kiosks. Understanding the difference between these primary and secondary destinations will help airports establish a clear message hierarchy. Many airport terminals service a large array of airlines. The scale of the departures hall and the large number of available airline ticketing counters can easily overwhelm unfamiliar passengers entering the terminal. Airline ticketing counters should be organized systematically and signs, directories, or maps should be used near entrances to direct passengers to ticketing counters that are not directly in view. Large airports have a number of gates, sometimes spanning several buildings. For example, airports like Denver and Atlanta have gates distributed across multiple concourse buildings that are accessed primarily by underground rail. Research has shown that decision points that require a change in level have a greater negative impact on wayfinding compared to same-level decision points56. In order to guide passengers through a complex path between origin and destination, more wayfinding tools are required such as signs, maps, and directories. 22.214.171.124 Arriving Passengers A typical wayfinding task for an international arriving passenger includes the following primary wayfinding chain elements: passport control, customs, baggage claim area, baggage carousel, exit to parking, car rental, ground transportation, or passenger pickup. Domestic passengers experi- ence similar wayfinding tasks minus the passport control and customs. Other secondary wayfind- ing destinations may include elevators, washrooms, telephones, and information counters. In large airports arriving passengers may have to walk a long distance from their gate in order to reach the baggage claim area. In these cases signs should be placed every 150250 feet along the path to remind passengers they are heading in the right direction. Carousels in the baggage claim area should be well-marked with flight number and departure city. In large terminals that have several carousels, a directory should be placed at the entrance to the baggage claim area to iden- tify flight information for each carousel. To aid passengers as they wait for their luggage, an infor- mation desk for ground transportation should be located adjacent to the baggage claim area. 126.96.36.199 Connecting Passengers Many passengers arrive at an airport terminal for a layover before taking a connecting flight to their destination. For international passengers, a typical wayfinding task may include primary des-