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31 POLITICAL BACKING schedules. Any common use implementation should facili- tate expansion of, as well as contraction of, operations. In this Information gleaned through interviews indicated that it is way, the business model allows the airport to quickly critical for airport operators to have the proper political back- respond to changes in airline operations without negatively ing to support any common use initiative. As discussed in affecting overall airport efficiency. this paper, airlines traditionally do not support common use. As with many decisions at airports, there is a large amount of When presenting the business case to the airlines operat- political influence that comes to bear on any major decisions ing at the airport, the airport operator should clearly commu- involving airport operations. Airport operators should have a nicate its intentions, the needs to be met, and benefits to the clear understanding of the needs that are required to be filled, airlines. Some airports have successfully supported airlines as well as any federal or local policies that could influence by enabling them to create their own identity in a common the decision to implement common use. In many instances, use space and then clear out once they have completed their there are no applicable federal or local policies and it may be use of that space. One example is JFK Terminal 4, as seen in necessary to create a local policy to facilitate the common Figure 7. use initiative. There are, however, national level strategies that are addressing future demand and capacity. These are Airport operators should be clear on how common use causing a ripple effect, from a terminal planning perspective, will benefit the airlines. Areas of consideration include sup- on airport operators, who are increasingly looking toward porting split operations, quarterly growth, and constrictions common use to solve terminal, capacity, and roadway capac- in routes, as well as facilitating operations to handle changes ity issues. For a summary of some of the FAA initiatives that in passenger volumes. Airport operators should indicate affect common use, see Appendix E. which areas of the airport will be made common use, such as ticketing counters, gate hold rooms, gates, or a combination A key element of the political backing is to ensure that of areas. The more an airport operator communicates, and the money is available to pay for any common use solu- the earlier in the process that they communicate, the better tions. It is important not only to ensure that the money is in informed the airlines will be during the design and imple- the budget, but that the authorities required for expenditure mentation process. approval are properly informed and prepared for the air- port's request. Although common use implementations are not as expensive as constructing a concourse or a terminal, ASSESSING IMPACT ON ALL the costs are significant, and must be appropriately planned AIRPORT OPERATIONS for in the budget. During interviews, airport operators stressed the need to ana- lyze carefully all areas of airport operations and the potential BUSINESS MODEL AND BUSINESS CASE impacts of common use installation on each. For example, an airport may choose to install common use at the gates, but All interviewed airport operators emphasized how critical it may overlook that ticket counters are fully allocated, thereby is to establish a clear business case for common use. As part barring entrant carriers at the ticket counters. Also, increased of this business case, they also indicated that the business utilization of the ticket counter areas may adversely affect model for operating in a common use environment needed to outbound baggage facilities. The demands placed on utility be defined and presented to the airlines. These two elements facilities of "clean power," air conditioning, and backup were identified as the most critical factors in the success or power must also be considered. failure of any common use implementation. Although there are many different business models, the air- port operators and airlines interviewed indicated that consis- tency and cost transparency were critically important. It was clear that airlines were more accepting of the charges neces- sary to operate a common use implementation if those costs for the system were readily available, explained, and easily un- derstood. Airlines indicated that they were not in favor of including the common use costs as part of a larger, roll-up number in the invoices submitted to the airlines. Airlines and airport operators both appeared to agree that charging based on an enplaned rate may simplify billings and make charges as transparent as possible. When defining the business case, it is necessary to con- sider the possibilities of airline bankruptcy, flight schedule reductions, as well as additional airlines and increased flight FIGURE 7 JFK Terminal 4.