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COMMON USE FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT AT AIRPORTS SUMMARY Airport operators and airlines are trying to balance growth and costs. This search for balance has caused airlines to consider carefully how changes at airports affect the airlines' overall expenses. It has also encouraged airport operators to find alternative ways to facilitate growth and competition, while keeping the overall charges to the airlines as low as possible. The entry of many new low-cost carriers has also highlighted the need to keep costs down at airports. One opportunity that airport operators around the world are seizing is the imple- mentation of common use. Common use technology enables an airport operator to take space that was previously assigned exclusively to a single airline and make it available for use by multiple airlines and their passengers. Common use is a fundamental shift in the philosophy of airport space utilization. It allows the airport operator to use existing space more efficiently, thus increasing airport capacity without necessarily constructing new gates, concourses, terminals, or check-in counters. In the construction of new gates, concourses, terminals, or check-in counters, it has been determined by de Neufville and Belin that the deployment of a common use strategy can help an airport save up to 30% of the costs of such new construction. Common use, although not new to the airline industry, is a seldom-employed tactic in domestic airline terminals in the United States. This synthesis was prepared to help airport operators, airlines, and other interested parties gain an understanding of the progressive path of implementing common use, noted as the "common use continuum." It serves as an introduction to the state of common use through- out the world, reviews the knowledge currently available, and provides examples of how it is currently employed in the United States. The report identifies advantages and disadvantages of common use to airports and airlines, and touches on how common use affects the airline passenger. It also presents seven case studies of real-world experiences with common use. This synthesis presents the views of both airlines and airports so that a complete picture of the effects of common use can be determined. Information for this synthesis was gathered through a search of existing literature, surveys sent to airport operators and airlines, and through interviews conducted with airport opera- tors and airlines. Because the common use continuum is an ever-changing concept and practice, the literature search generally was restricted to information less than seven years old. Resources used in conducting the literature search included industry organizations [Inter- national Air Transport Association (IATA), ATA, ACI-NA], Internet and web searches, and vendor documents. In conjunction with the literature search, surveys were sent to a broad sample of airports, including European, Asian, and North American airports. The airports selected had varying experiences with common use so as to gain an accurate picture of the state of common use throughout the industry. Surveys were also sent to airlines from the same regions and with the same varying experiences with common use. A total of 13 airlines and 24 airports were invited to complete the surveys; with survey responses received from 12 airlines and 20 air- ports, an overall response rate of 86%.

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2 The survey responses confirmed that airports outside of the United States have progressed further along the common use continuum. This affects U.S. airlines that fly to destinations outside the United States, because they have to operate in airports that are already moving along the common use continuum. Interviews were conducted with representatives from airlines and airports that have implemented common use in some fashion. The airlines interviewed included Alaska Air- lines, American Airlines, British Airways, and Lufthansa Airlines. The airports interviewed included Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Las Vegas McCarran, and Frankfurt International Airport. Interviews were also conducted at Salt Lake City Airport because it had previously considered, but chose not to implement, common use. The information acquired was processed and is presented in this synthesis. From the information, the following conclusions were drawn: Industry-Wide Importance and Benefit of the Common Use Continuum Common use is of a growing interest to airports and airlines. Although the literature and available recorded knowledge are limited, common use is an important field and has a great impact on the airport and airline community. U.S. airport operators and airlines have an opportunity to benefit from the implementation of common use technology. Air- port operators gain by using their space more efficiently, expanding the capacity of the airport, providing for greater competition, being more flexible in the use of the space, and creating an environment that is easier to maintain. Airlines gain greater flexibility in changing schedules (either increasing or decreasing service) and greater ease in accom- modating failed gate equipment or other disruptive operational activities, such as con- struction; acquire the opportunity to lower costs; and potentially obtain a lower cost of entry into a new market. The converse is also true, in that if a common use implementa- tion is poorly planned and implemented, airport operators and airlines stand to lose. Passengers also recognize the benefits of common use. When an airport operator moves along the common use continuum, the passenger experience can be greatly en- hanced. Common use enables airport operators and airlines to move the check-in process farther from the airport, thus allowing passengers to perform at least part of the check-in process remotely, sometimes at off-site terminals. In some cases, the passen- ger can complete the check-in process, including baggage check, before ever entering the airport. This allows passengers to travel more easily, without the need to carry their baggage. It also allows the passenger to have a more leisurely trip to the airport and to enjoy their travels a little longer, without the stress of having to manage their luggage. Pas- sengers arriving at an airport that has implemented common use have more time avail- able to get to their gate and may not feel as rushed and frustrated by the traveling expe- rience. Passengers also benefit because space utilization can be optimized as necessary to accommodate their needs. In today's environment, air carriers often increase their schedules very dynamically. With dynamic changes, passengers can suffer by being placed into waiting areas that are too small and/or occupied, and by having to cope with concessions, restroom facilities, and stores that are unable to accommodate the increased demand. Through common use, the airport operator is able to adjust airport space dynamically to help accommodate passenger needs. This creates a positive expe- rience for the passenger, and results in a positive image of both the airport and the airline. This positive experience can lead to recognition and increased business for the airlines and the airport operators.

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3 Lack of Information Resources Throughout this process, it has become evident that the lack of resources available to educate interested parties leads to their gaining knowledge about the benefits of com- mon use through site-specific experience--an inefficient way of learning about this industry "best practice." There is a significant amount of "tribal" knowledge through- out a portion of the industry; however, it has not been formally gathered and evaluated for industry-wide consumption. Most of the existing documented sources consist of vendor-provided marketing materials. Although the key concepts of common use may be gleaned from these documents, they do not present a balanced, unbiased picture of the common use continuum to assist stakeholders in learning about common use. Unlike some topics, there was no central place to go to learn about the topic of common use. Information available from industry organizations, such as IATA, is provided at a very high level or is not freely available. Need for Careful Planning and Open Communication It is important that any movement along the common use continuum be carefully con- sidered so that the benefits and concerns of all parties are addressed. Airport operators must consider whether or not common use would be appropriate at their airport. If the airport has only one or two dominant carriers, it may not make sense to move too far along the common use continuum. If common use were to become widely adopted throughout the United States, however, more of the "dominant" carriers at many loca- tions would be inclined to work in a common use environment. In essence, this is a "Catch-22" situation, where the wide acceptance of common use technology is some- what dependent on it being widely accepted. Airports and airlines must work closely together during the design of the common use strategy at each airport operator's loca- tion to ensure that the passengers receive the benefit of the effort. It is the airline that brings the customer to the airport, but it is the airport that is nec- essary for the airline to operate in a given market. Both airlines and airport operators must move toward working together cooperatively for the benefit of their mutual cus- tomer. It is important for both airlines and airport operators to communicate openly and honestly when introducing common use. If airport operators include airlines, ground handlers, and other stakeholders in the design process, then all interested parties are able to affect the outcome of the strategy, usually for the better. In addition, the airport operators should make an extra effort to ensure that airline participation is facilitated. Having tools that facilitate remote meetings along with face-to-face meetings is one way to allow the inclusion of airline staff. Airlines, likewise, need to make a commitment to participate in the process. When an airport operator moves along the common use continuum, it is in the best interest of the airline to participate in the design. In many cases, the airport operator will move forward without the input of the airlines, if the air- lines refuse to participate. Understanding of the Airlines' Resistance to the Common Use Continuum In general, U.S. airlines have a skeptical view of common use for many reasons. As will be shown in the body of this synthesis, when a non-U.S. airport operator views common use as a profit center, the airlines are not inclined to favor the initiative. Also, when airport operators move along the common use continuum without the input of the airlines currently serving that airport there is distrust in their motivation and also a concern that the strategy will not support the airlines' business processes put in

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4 place to support their passengers. The converse is also true, in that the airlines must sup- port the airport operators in their common use implementation strategy to ensure the air- ports achieve maximum benefit from the common use implementation. The common use continuum continues to be of interest to airports and airlines as both ACINA and IATA are at the forefront, creating the standards and recommended practices governing the common use continuum. Through further development, experience, and knowledge of the common use continuum, the airport and airline industry can jointly discover new ways to accommodate growth and competition.