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11 systems operate on complex algorithms to take into account information such as preferential gate assignments, altered flight schedules, size of aircraft, and other factors that affect the airline use of gates. Such systems may tie into accounting and invoicing systems to assist the airport operator with air- line financial requirements. CUTE systems allow an airport to make gates and ticket counters common use. These systems are known as "agent- facing" systems, because they are used by the airline agents to manage the passenger check-in and boarding process. Whenever an airline agent logs onto the CUTE system, the terminal is reconfigured and connected to the airline's host system. From an agent's point of view, the agent is now working within his or her airline's information technology (IT) network. CUTE was first implemented in 1984 for the Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games (Finn 2005). It was at FIGURE 3 Common use self-service kiosks. this point that IATA first created the recommended practice (RP) 1797 defining CUTE. It should be noted that ATA does centers, and even off-site locations such as hotels and con- not have a similar standard for common use. From 1984 until vention centers. The CUSS RP was first published by IATA the present, approximately 400 airports worldwide have in- in 2003 (Behan 2006) (see Figure 3 for a display of CUSS stalled some level of CUTE. kiosks). Since 1984, several system providers have developed LDCSs are stand-alone check-in and boarding systems. systems that, owing to the vagueness of the original CUTE These systems allow airlines that do not own or have access RP, operate differently and impose differing airline system to a host-based departure control system (e.g., seasonal char- modifications and requirements. This has been problematic ter operators) to perform electronic check-in and boarding for the airlines, which must make their software and opera- procedures at the gate. Without an LDCS, airlines that do not tional model conform with each individual, unique system. have access to a departure control system must board pas- Making these modifications for compatibility's sake has sengers through a manual process. been a burden for the airlines. AODBs are the data storage backbone of a common use As a result, IATA is currently developing a new standard strategy. These databases enable all of the technology com- of RPs for common use systems called "common use pas- ponents of a common use environment to share data. The senger processing systems" (CUPPS). The updated RP was AODB facilitates integration between otherwise disparate expected to gain approval at the fall 2007 Joint Passenger systems and enables data analysis and reporting to be com- Services Conference (JPSC), conducted jointly by ATA and pleted on various components of the common use system. IATA. Subsequent IATA plans are that the CUPPS RP will These databases also help in the calculation of charges for fully replace the current CUTE RP in 2008. This action will airport operators. Baggage recognition systems provide the eliminate airline concerns about continuing system compati- necessary components to track bags and ensure that they bility to manage multiple system/vendor compatibility. reach their intended aircraft. In addition to IATA, the CUPPS RP is to be adopted by Baggage reconciliation systems provide positive bag ATA (RP 30.201) and ACI (RP 500A07), giving the RP matching, baggage tracking, and reporting functionality. As industry-wide endorsement. The Common Use Self-Service airports move along the common use continuum, common (CUSS) Management Group is monitoring the progress of baggage systems, and eventually common baggage drop lo- the CUPPS committee to assess future migration with cations, will necessitate the need for baggage reconciliation CUPPS. systems. "CUSS is the standard for multiple airlines to provide a STATE OF AIRPORTS ALONG THE CONTINUUM check-in application for use by passengers on a single [kiosk] device" (Simplifying the Business Common Use Self Service Common use acceptance and implementation differ dramat- 2006). CUSS devices run multiple airlines' check-in appli- ically between U.S-based airports and non-U.S-based cations, relocating the check-in process away from tradi- airports. Much of this relates to the geography of the coun- tional check-in counters. Passengers can check in and print tries, as well as to the history of how airports were founded boarding passes for flights in places that heretofore were in the United States versus other countries. In Europe, for ex- unavailable. Examples include parking garages, rental car ample, the close proximity of multiple countries makes the
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12 majority of flights international. Because these airports sup- Outside the United States, airport operators are also mov- port more international flights, they have been more disposed ing along the common use continuum. Amsterdam Airport to implementing common use. Historically, airports in the Schiphol has long been identified as a leader in the effort to United States were developed in conjunction with a flagship improve passenger processing. Much of the airport is com- carrier. These relationships resulted in long leases and cre- mon use, even though the airport has a dominant carrier, ated the hub airport. European airports were developed KLM. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is working on fully mostly by governments and therefore do not have as many automating the passenger process from check-in, through long-term leases with flagship carriers. border crossing, and finally through security. Although most airports started out as exclusive use, many To understand common use, it is helpful to understand, have begun the journey along the common use continuum. from a technology point of view, how many airports in the Some U.S.-based airport operators, such as at Westchester world (outside the United States) have enthusiastically County Airport (White Plains, N.Y.), manage counter and adopted CUSS and CUTE. The reason that these two systems gate space by use of a lottery system (McCormick 2006), are a focus is because they serve as key ingredients in the whereas other airport operators, such as at Orlando Interna- common use continuum. Based on information from vendors, tional Airport, assign gates and counter space by preferential IATA, airports, and airlines, as of June 2007, approximately use and historical precedence ("Common Use Facilities" 400 airports worldwide had some level of CUTE installed. 2004). Some airports employ a minimalist "use it or lose it" Approximately 80 airports worldwide have CUSS installed. approach to gate assignments. As mentioned earlier in this document, CUTE has been in existence since 1984, whereas CUSS has been in existence Another U.S.-based airport that has migrated along the com- since 2003. It is interesting to note that only 60 airports mon use continuum is Terminal 4 at JFK. JFK, Terminal 4, is worldwide have implemented both CUSS and CUTE (see unique in the United States in that it is operated by JFK IAT, Appendix A for more detail). LLC, a private consortium of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol; LCOR, Inc.; and Lehman Brothers. Unlike an airline-operated Common use implementations are increasing annually. terminal, Terminal 4 serves multiple international and domes- For example, in 2005, seven airports had signed memoranda tic airlines and manages its gate allocations (Guitjens 2006). of understanding with IATA to implement CUSS. By early 2006, 17 airports had implemented CUSS (Behan 2006). The Clark County Airport Authority at Las Vegas From early 2006 to early 2007, the number of implementa- McCarran International Airport has taken a slightly different tions increased to 62. Similar interest is being shown with common use approach by moving check-in operations off other common use technologies. site. The airport operator has installed CUSS kiosks in locations such as hotels, convention centers, and other desti- One airport that was interviewed, Salt Lake City, stated nations where travelers may be located. By doing this, the that it had determined that it was not in the best interest of the airport operator has effectively extended the stay of vaca- airport to pursue common use. The main reason given was tioning passengers, allowing passengers to perform most of that Delta Airlines accounted for 80% of its flight operations. their check-in processes (e.g., check bags and obtain board- The airport noted that, as it looks toward the future and con- ing passes) before coming to the airport. struction of a new terminal, it may reconsider common use.