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OCR for page 23
23 of why it is going toward common use, it can better account common use strategy can be a cost savings, but they are leery for the costs of the common use strategy. of the implementation of common use because many non-U.S. airport operators, where common use is more prevalent, tend If an airport operator's goal is to increase airport service to view the common use continuum as a revenue stream, rather by increasing the number of airlines at the airport, it should than a service. Because of this concern, airlines are less likely evaluate how it divides the total charges of the common use to support a common use strategy, especially if the airport strategy among the current carriers. It is also important to operator does not include them in the discussions during the consider the federal definitions and expectations of an airport design phase of the common use strategy. and the types of improvements that can be made, how those improvements can be charged back, and how that could af- fect other sources of federal funding. According to Section BRANDING 601, "Terminal Development," in FAA Order 5100.38C-- During interviews, airlines noted concern with loss of airline- Airport Improvement Program Handbook (2005, p. 107), specific branding. Although not as prevalent an argument as except as noted, terminal development is defined as "devel- in times past, an important facet of airline marketing remains opment for non-revenue-producing public-use areas that are in its ability to use its facility locations as a means of "sell- directly related to the movement of passengers and baggage ing" its name. Airlines view common use as taking away in terminal facilities within the boundaries of the airport." their branding ability. Many airports that implement com- mon use are also seeking ways to address these branding con- With few exceptions, FAA funding eligibility requirements cerns. Airports are more commonly implementing digital for terminal development through the Airport Improvement signage along with their common use strategies to facilitate Program (AIP) limit the provision of federal financial sup- branding opportunities in a common use environment. The port to areas of the terminal that are for public use and do not digital signage can be added, as required, to ticketing coun- produce revenue for the airport or its exclusive users and ters, gates, and other areas in the airport that are temporarily commercial tenants. used as airline space in a common use environment. In addi- tion to the gates and ticket counters, airports are using digital For example, Section 601, "Terminal Development," des- signage to address branding issues on CUSS kiosks. ignates parts of the airport terminal ineligible for AIP fund- ing, including "areas that are primarily revenue producing Many airports that have implemented common use and such as restaurants, concession stands, and airline ticketing provided digital signage also allow the airlines to provide areas" (p. 108). their own branding during the time that they are occupying the common-use space. Some airports, such as JFK's Termi- Section 606, "Expanded Eligibility under the Military nal 4, allow the airlines to customize the common use space Airport Program (MAP)" specifies that, "Some expanded with as much branding as they would like, providing a sort of eligibility at MAP locations will facilitate the transition of marketplace feel to the environment. military facilities to civil airports." Accordingly, with respect to AIP funding eligibility for passenger terminal buildings, Other airports provide distinct locations for additional "Section 47118(e) of the Act makes eligible the construction, branding, such as additional signage locations. In any event, improvement, or repair of a terminal building facility, in- common use airports continue to look for ways to allow air- cluding terminal gates used for revenue passengers getting lines the ability to market their brand within the common use on or off aircraft. The gates must not be leased for more than space. 10 years. The gates must not be subject to majority in inter- est clauses" (p. 111). LOCAL SUPPORT Section 611, "Eligibility Limitations" of the FAA hand- book further substantiates "eligibility is limited to non- As an airport operator assumes responsibility for maintenance revenue producing public-use areas that are directly related support, it is noted that maintenance costs for the specific air- to the movement of passengers and baggage in air carrier and line should decline. It is far less expensive for an airport to commuter service terminal facilities within the boundaries of provide dedicated maintenance personnel, able to respond the airport" (p. 113). Airport operators noted that a more rea- rapidly to failed devices, printer jams, and other maintenance sonable charging model was based around the percentage of issues, whereas airlines typically must fly in maintenance sup- use by each airline. port from their central headquarters, thus spending signifi- cantly more time and money to achieve a repair. Airport operators must have a clear communication path to the airlines, and present an honest and open dialogue. Through Because airport common use implementations are still this open dialogue, items such as cost can be discussed and relatively few and quite different from airport to airport, the worked through so that both the airport and the airlines bene- elimination of an airlines maintenance support require- fit. Many airlines understand that the cost of implementing a ments at a specific airport becomes a "one-off" scenario.
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24 This scenario often results in the airline wasting money be- could be a rise in support costs as the number of stations de- cause it must treat a particular airport as unique. Some air- crease. Overall, however, airlines should be able to experi- lines have large maintenance and support contracts that are ence lower maintenance and support costs as more airports based on the number of stations that need to be supported. convert to common use, moving the costs of support from As airports implement common use, the short-term effect the airline to the individual airport.