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The Context for Public Transportation to Major Airports 41 Will the Pattern of Air Travel Continue to Grow? While the extent of growth for major U.S. airports was clouded by the market reaction to the events of September 11 and while any precise forecasts are clearly beyond the scope of this proj- ect, there has been considerable consensus on the scale of growth expected over time. The Inter- national Air Transport Association (IATA) based in Geneva has used a growth rate of 3.9% for U.S. air traffic for its forecasting (3). In a worldwide forecast released in January of 2007, the ACI Global Traffic Forecast 2006-2025 predicts a "doubling of current passenger numbers within the next 20 years. Passenger volumes are predicted to grow by an average of 4% annually over the 20-year period, leading passenger volumes to top 9 billion passengers a year by 2025, up from 4.2 billion in 2005." (4) Some U.S. airports concur in these aggressive forecasts. SCAG, the MPO for the Los Angeles area, forecasts a regional increase at an annual rate of 4%, dealing as it does with a growing market of services between Asia and the Americas. All of this growth is set in the context of a pro- jected increase in the role of the other airports in the region from their original share of 12% of the region's demand to 33% in the target year (5). The recent New England Regional Aviation System Plan undertook both high and low forecasts. With 49.6 million New England passengers in the base year of 2000, the Plan produced a high- demand 2020 forecast of 90 million air passengers and a low-demand forecast of 67.5 million air passengers (1). The high-demand forecast reflects a compounded growth rate of approximately 3%, while the low-demand forecast translates to about a 2% growth rate. The consensus forecast averages to about 2.3% growth per year, showing the difference in assumptions in the mature Northeast and the developing Southwest (e.g., 4% annual growth in Los Angeles). In the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, a 30-year forecast was adopted at a rate of approximately 2.8% per year compounded (6). As shown in Figure 2-3, this overall regional growth must be distributed over three airports, some of which are more physically constrained than others, as assumed in the transportation planning process now underway at the MWCOG. Figure 2-3 shows the expected growth in three airports expressed in terms of ground trans- portation impacts. In a 25-year planning horizon, between 2005 and 2030, originating enplane- ments at Baltimore/Washington International Airport are expected to double, with an overall growth factor of 2.1. Turning to Dulles International Airport (from the same study), originat- ing enplanements are expected to triple, with an overall growth factor of 3.2. Close-in Reagan Washington National Airport is even more constrained than Baltimore/Washington Interna- tional Airport, with originating enplanements expected to increase only by somewhat more than one-third, with an overall growth factor of 1.38. Importantly for the study of ground trans- portation, these MPO-predicted growths in air travel demand are expressed as flows by mode, which can be immediately integrated into the planning of the ground access system, as shown in Figure 2-3. Understanding the Trips that Use Airports Trip Purpose: Why Do Airline Passengers Travel? Airline passengers are more likely to be traveling for business purposes than are long-distance travelers as a whole. On board the commercial airplane an average of 41% of passengers are trav- eling on business, compared with a national average of only 22% of overall travel for this purpose. Pleasure trips, such as vacations, have a high propensity to occur by car rather than by airplane, as shown in Figure 2-4. Phrased differently, 64% of our national long-distance trip making is for pleasure, while only 49% of airline passenger trips are for pleasure.
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42 Ground Access to Major Airports by Public Transportation SOURCE: Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Washington-Baltimore Regional Airport System Plan Ground Access Update, 2007 Figure 2-3. Airport growth forecasts and growth in ground access volumes for Washington metropolitan area. How Trip Purpose Varies by Airport In TCRP Report 62, airline passenger trip purpose data were reviewed for 25 airports (not all of which are included in this report's sample of the 27 most transit-oriented airports). The 25 airports are grouped in Table 2-3 according to the trip purpose of originating passengers (business versus leisure). The trip purpose will usually affect a passenger's decision to use pub- lic transportation to the airport because of several factors, such as frequency of trips, duration of trips, and sensitivity of passengers to time. For example, airline passengers traveling on busi-
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The Context for Public Transportation to Major Airports 43 Trip Purpose: All Trips Trip Purpose: Air Passengers Personal Personal business business Business 14% 10% 22% Business 41% Pleasure 49% Pleasure 64% SOURCE: American Travel Survey, 1995. Figure 2-4. Trip purpose for air passengers vs. all trips over 100 miles. ness may have more information available on access options at specific airports because they tend to make more trips by air than airline passengers traveling on leisure. Certain business travel arrangements may also require the use of particular airport access modes. Five airports appear to be dominated by business travelers. The two airports with the largest proportion of business travelers (Atlanta and Reagan Washington National) also attract signif- icant rail ridership (as discussed in Chapter 4), in part because of the business travelers. At nine airports, between 45% and 55% of all airline passengers are making business-related trips. It is anticipated that the category of airports dominated by business travelers would include most U.S. airports if trip purpose data were available. At seven airports, 35% to 44% of all airline passengers are on business-related trips. Many of these airports (e.g., San Francisco, San Diego, Tampa, and Salt Lake City airports) serve a combination of business and resort/leisure markets. Airports with fewer than 35% business travelers primarily serve leisure markets (e.g., Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando). Airports Serving Residents and Airports Serving Visitors Data describing airline passenger place of residence were available from 23 airports in TCRP Report 62. These data suggest four groupings of airports, shown in Table 2-4. Local residents rep- resented in Table 2-4 are airline passengers who are considered part of the airport's local market Table 2-3. Percentage of air travelers who are on business. More than 55% 45% to 55% 35% to 44% Less than 35% Atlanta (66%) Boston (54%) San Francisco (41%) Los Angeles (32%) Reagan National (64%) Baltimore/Washington (54%) San Diego (40%) Las Vegas (30%) Dallas/Ft. Worth (57%) Seattle (54%) Tampa (37%) Orlando (23%) Kansas City (57%) Washington Dulles (52%) Chicago Midway (37%) Ft. Lauderdale (23%) New Orleans (56%) Chicago O'Hare (50%) Phoenix (36%) Oakland (50%) Portland (36%) San Jose (48%) Salt Lake City (36%) Denver (47%) Sacramento (46%) SOURCE: TCRP Report 62, Jacobs Consultancy.