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28 process. It is important to bring in the airlines early in the efficient use of their space and to defer large capital expen- process so they can help the airport operator understand the re- ditures. Through case study interviews, airports have ex- quirements the airline has for check-in and boarding processes. pressed a need to hold costs down and to increase customer service and they are counting on common use as a way to im- By working with the airlines and allowing them to provide prove the customer experience at their airports and to keep the requirements for the common use implementation, the overall costs to airlines down. airport operator will develop a good rapport with the airlines and will eventually install a common use solution that meets Through case study interviews, it is clear that common the needs of the customer. In addition, they should include use is more prevalent outside of the United States. Many both the local airline representatives as well as corporate air- larger Canadian and European airports indicated that they are line representatives. It may become necessary to use alternate utilizing common use to facilitate their operations. Many of methods of communication, such as conference calls, Web these airports support a larger number of international flights conferences, or some other method of communication, that than do U.S. airports. Because of the business environment enable airline corporate employees to participate. Case study and the management differences in non-U.S airports, they are respondents recommended that airport operators proceed also providing other "common use" services to the airlines. with common use based on open and honest communication. These include ground handling services, fueling services, Airports should specify the real reason they are moving to and other services that are more commonly provided by air- common use. Airlines interviewed expressed concern that lines at U.S.-based airports. the stated reasons an airport would move toward common use may differ from the actual reasons, thereby indicating a Several airports interviewed for this report also indicated lack of trust between the airport and the airline. that they work at developing good relationships with their common use providers to ensure the success of their common Many of the airline respondents recommended that airports use implementations. Case study participants indicated that, not implement common use except where it is absolutely from a technology perspective, CUTE implementations are required by constraints. Instead, the respondents recom- more readily accepted and used by the airlines than CUSS mended that the industry should correct standards to better implementations. There are many different reasons for this meet the requirements of the airlines. Many respondents indi- acceptance, including the airline's concerns over branding, cated that they would reconsider their position on common use lack of true standardization in the CUSS platforms, and cost once it is able to support the full functionality of the dedicated concerns. Both U.S. and non-U.S.-based airports are review- systems, costs the same or less overall as installing and main- ing their implementations to help address these concerns. taining dedicated systems, and provides a transparent delivery mechanism for updates. Even with the differing degrees of acceptance for common use technologies, respondents indicated that they are seeking Based on their experiences, these airlines also advised air- more technologies that will help them along the common use port operators to carefully consider the charging model. Fair continuum. Several respondents are interested in developing and equitable charging is understood, but the airport operator a common bag drop; however, IATA does not yet have a stan- should have an open book policy, helping airlines understand dard for common bag drop; hence there is no common solu- what the charges are and why they are assessed. Airports tion for the airport operator. should bear in mind that although they are buying the system, in most cases they are not a user, so they should seek the European airport respondents also indicated that they are input of those who will use the system. The airport operator considering future improvements in the way border crossings needs to work out the service-level agreements so that there are managed. The European Union (EU) for example has long are neither too many variables nor too many parties involved embraced the concept of the free movement of people in in troubleshooting problems. Finally, they recommended that Europe, and in the late 1990s adopted the Schengen Agree- the airport seek a service-level agreement that has enforce- ment, which allows for the abolition of systematic internal bor- able penalties for inadequate performance. der controls between the participating countries. Schengen countries are those that have signed the Schengen Agreement. To date, 27 EU countries have signed the agreement, as well as AIRPORTS three non-EU countries (Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland). This means that the border crossing and security requirements In 1984, Westinghouse worked with SITA at Los Angeles differ between Schengen and non-Schengen countries World Airports to create what is now known as CUTE. It was (Wikipedia 2007). In addition to Schengen Agreement require- at this point that IATA first created RP 1797 defining CUTE. ments, the United States security requirements also affect the It should be noted that ATA does not have a similar standard implementation of common use technologies. According to for common use. As noted in an earlier chapter, approxi- European respondents, the implementation of the Federal mately 400 airports have installed some level of CUTE since Bureau of Investigation's terrorist watch list currently prevents 1984. Today, airports are exploring ways to make more the use of CUSS kiosks for non-U.S. airlines.
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29 Some survey respondents indicated that they negotiated In addition to the ticket counters, some respondents are in- with the airlines when their airport made the decision to move stalling CUSS in areas outside the airport, including their to common use. In several cases, the airport was renewing the parking garages, rental car centers, remote hotels, and other airlines' leases, and they used the lease renewals as a catalyst off-site locations. These installations essentially have al- for open communication. Through this communication, the lowed airport operators to extend their check-in counters to airport operators were able to honestly address these concerns areas outside the airport. Although this improves passenger to ensure success of the common use program. processing, according to respondents it also improves the passenger experience, because many passengers are now During negotiations, several respondents indicated that able to fully check in before arriving at the airport. the airlines clearly wanted to retain their exclusive use of gates, and that the airport operators wanted no gate assign- Case study respondents recommended that other airports ments. As a compromise, several of these respondents now consider moving along the common use continuum. Tech- employ preferential use of gates. nology is a key enabler and allows the airport operator to efficiently use and manage the limited space available. Tech- U.S.-based airport respondents indicated that they first in- nologies such as LDCS are very beneficial in helping new stall CUTE at the gates of their international terminals. As airlines start up, to charter operations, and as a backup to the these respondents continue their movement along the airline-owned departure control systems. Respondents also common use continuum, they try to expand CUTE to the re- suggest that airport operators not worry about managing mainder of their airports. Respondents indicated that the tasks currently handled by the airlines, such as gate assign- installation of common use cost their airports about the ments. Through the use of new technologies the airport oper- equivalent of one gate, but in return they gain the equiva- ator now has the means to manage these tasks effectively and lency of several gates. Respondents also noted the impor- efficiently. Other areas to keep in mind during the migration tance of quantifying the benefits of common use to airport along the common use continuum are the ownership of jet management and demonstrating how common use facilitates bridges and the management of off-gate parking. Both of deferral of capital expenditures for constructing new gates, these issues are commonly overlooked during the start of any concourses, and eventually a new terminal. common use strategy involving the gate areas. Case study respondents recommended developing a formula for the In some cases, part of the common use installation process amount of off-gate parking that will be needed as operations involved replacing or updating ticketing counters. Many re- grow. spondents discovered that the ticket counters were not the same size, and they were able to gain additional check-in Airport case study participants had several pieces of ad- locations by standardizing the size of the ticket counters. vice for airports considering the common use continuum. First, it is important that airlines see an advantage in moving According to respondents, one area of the airport not nor- toward common use. To make the transition from exclusive mally converted to common use is the operations space for use toward common use, airport operators must work closely the airlines. When a new airline is added to the airport, it is with the airlines and ensure that there is interest and buy-in. given operational space that is dedicated only to that airline. Also, it is important for the airport operator to ensure that Even with this requirement, many of these airport operators there is a service-level agreement in place for any services are continuing to add new service and new airlines, which that are the airport operator's responsibility. Several respon- allows continued growth and improved service to their dents indicated that they have to guarantee service for the community. network and infrastructure for the common use installation to succeed. The focus of support should be toward the air- Many of the respondent airports have also joined IATA line agent, especially if the airline has a small station at the and helped to define the CUSS RP. The driver for this was the airport. airline implementation of dedicated check-in kiosks. Airlines installed dedicated kiosks in the airport lobby areas that un- Many respondents also suggested considering how com- dermined the airport operators' common use strategy for ef- mon use can assist an airport operator during construction ficient use of airport space. The placement of dedicated and growth. In some cases, as they have needed to maintain kiosks essentially forces ticket counter space to become and upgrade the apron areas, these airports have been able to exclusive use. Locations not near the ticket counters cannot move airlines to other gates efficiently without affecting the be fairly shared by all airlines, in most cases. The airport airlines' operations. This has saved time and money, during operators worked with the IATA Common Use Self-Service the maintenance and construction projects that continue at Management Group to help define CUSS. the airport.