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21 CHAPTER FIVE AIRLINES OPERATING IN COMMON USE With a successful common use implementation, an airline has and have the common use service configured to accept its the potential of receiving benefits not available otherwise. application and log-ins. With common use gates and ticket counters, the airline is able to grow more effectively because it is not constrained by the As airport operators move along the common use contin- exclusive use model. An airline can work with the airport op- uum, however, airlines that service these airports can be erator to find gates that are open at the times the airline would adversely affected in several areas. Research noted that air- like to start new service. Instead of the local station manager lines can typically face an adverse impact from common use having to contend with assigned flights in a limited number of in the areas of: gates, the airport operator is able to open the search for avail- able gate space to the entire airport. In reality, this is typically · Additional resources for planning, design, and imple- limited to available gates adjacent to the airline's normal op- mentation; erational areas, resulting from ground service limitations and · Airline operations; proximity to operations offices. At an airport that is fully com- · Common use hardware and software; mon use (i.e., common ground handlers in addition to com- · Additional costs; mon use technology) however, an airline has the flexibility to · Branding; and use gates farther away from its normal operational areas. · Local support. For any common use implementation to be successful, it ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR PLANNING, must simplify the airlines' operations. Airlines expect con- DESIGN, AND IMPLEMENTATION sistency in operations as well as invoicing and overall expe- rience. Airport operators should consider their common use Experience has shown that, as common use is implemented, implementations to ensure that these goals can be achieved. airport operators should engage the airlines that service their If the airline is able to simplify its operations and can expect airport early in the process. It is obviously important to in- consistent performance from the common use implementa- clude the airline local staff, such as the station manager, but tion, then it will be more apt to support moving along the it is also critical to include the corporate airline staff. It is es- common use continuum. pecially important for the airlines' corporate technology staff to be involved in discussions for common use systems be- If an airport is implementing CUSS kiosks, airlines also cause they are most knowledgeable about the impacts to the stand to benefit. "IATA estimates that [CUSS] will save air- airline and have experience from implementing common use lines up to $2.50 per checked-in passenger through higher at other airports. It has been noted through interviews with productivity of traditional check-in facilities" (Simplifying airlines that there is a general lack of trust between airports the Business Common Use Self Service 2006). Additional and airlines. It is important that both parties present their rea- cost savings are found in the elimination of the maintenance sons, issues, and approaches in an open and honest dialogue of proprietary kiosks, redeployment of staff, and other oper- so that the parties can move beyond this distrust. ating efficiencies. These gains, along with e-ticketing, are "...estimated to save an average of $14.50 on a typical return Airlines should also expect to work more closely with air- ticket" (Rozario 2006). ports in developing a common use strategy. As an airport con- tinues to analyze the growth in passenger traffic, it will need to Airlines also gain an advantage in entering a new market. make decisions for expending capital funds either to increase If an airport has already moved along the common use con- the number of gates or to move toward a common use strategy. tinuum, airlines have a lower cost of entry into that market. It It is important for airlines to participate with the airport in the no longer becomes necessary for an airline to install technol- design of the common use strategy. As they work coopera- ogy infrastructure, proprietary systems at gates and ticket tively, the strategy that is put in place can be beneficial to both. counters, or proprietary kiosks in the airport. The airport is already configured to accept the new carrier. The carrier will Airlines should also participate early on in the design be responsible for adding a direct connection from its host phase for the common use strategy to ensure that business system to the common use system, also known as a circuit, processes within the affected areas are taken into account.