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42 CHAPTER NINE SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH The common use continuum continues to develop and the Throughout this process, it has become evident that the lack benefits continue to increase. From its beginnings in 1984, of formal, documented studies; educational resources; and the common use movement and the growth of the continuum published materials about common use systems and strate- have benefited the industry. As airport operators continue to gies compels anyone interested in learning about common struggle with the best use of their constrained space, vendors, use to do so through trial and error, acquiring knowledge airlines, airports, and other interested parties continue to through first-hand experience. There is considerable "tribal" push the limits of the common use continuum. The following knowledge in the focused portion of the industry, but it has conclusions are based on this continued change and the re- not been formally gathered. sults of the literature and knowledge search contained in this synthesis. Much of the documented information available is pro- vided by vendors in the form of marketing material. Industry-Wide Importance and Benefits of the Common Although information can be gleaned from these documents, Use Continuum they do not present a balanced picture of the common use continuum to assist stakeholders in learning about common Common use is of growing interest to airports and airlines. use. Unlike some topics, there was no central location to go Although the literature and available recorded knowledge is to learn about the topic of common use. Information avail- limited, it is an important field and has a great impact on the able from industry organizations, such as the International airport and airline community. Both airport operators and Air Transport Association (IATA), is provided at a very high airlines stand to benefit from the implementation of common level or is not freely available. use. Airport operators gain by greater efficiency and more flexibility in using their space, expanded airport capacity, op- The Need for Careful Planning and Open Communi- portunities for increased competition, and an environment that cations is easier to maintain. Airlines gain more flexibility in changing schedules, opportunities to lower costs, and a potentially lower It is important that any movement along the common use cost of entry into a new market. The converse is also true, in continuum be carefully considered to address the benefits that if a common use implementation is poorly planned and and concerns of all parties. Airport operators must consider implemented, airport operators and airlines stand to lose. whether or not common use would be appropriate at their air- port. If the airport has one or two dominant carriers, it may Passengers also recognize the benefits of common use not make sense to move too far along the common use con- when an airport operator moves along the common use con- tinuum. Airports and airlines must work closely during the tinuum. Common use enables airport operators and airlines design of the common use strategy to ensure that the passen- to move the check-in process farther from the airport, thus gers receive the benefit of the effort. It is the airline that allowing passengers to perform at least part of the process brings the customer to the airport, but it is the airport that remotely. In some cases, the passenger can complete the allows the airline to operate in a given market. check-in process, including baggage check, before ever entering the airport. This allows passengers to travel lighter. Both airlines and airport operators must communicate It also affords passengers a more leisurely trip to the airport, openly and honestly when introducing common use. If air- allowing them to enjoy their vacation a little longer, and with port operators include airlines in the design process, then all less stress. Passengers arriving at an airport that has imple- interested parties are able to affect the outcome of the strat- mented common use have more time to spend getting to their egy for the better. Airport operators could make the extra gate and may not feel as rushed and frustrated by the travel- effort to ensure that airline participation is facilitated. Sched- ling experience. A positive experience translates into a uling both remote meetings and face-to-face meetings is one positive image for both the airport and the airline. Such an way to put in the effort needed to include airline staff. Air- experience can lead to recognition and awards for the airlines lines, likewise, need to make a commitment to participate in and the airport operators. the process. When an airport operator moves along the com- mon use continuum, it is in the best interest of the airline to Lack of Information Resources participate in the design.

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43 Understanding the Airline's Resistance to the Common per gate. This model could add value to the analysis Use Continuum process of determining whether a common use strat- egy should be implemented. Furthermore, this model Airlines generally have a somewhat negative view of com- could help airports account for needed off-gate park- mon use initiatives, for several reasons. As has been shown ing to facilitate further growth of the passenger in this report, when a non-U.S. airport operator views com- activity at the airport. mon use as a profit center, the airlines are not in favor of the initiative. Also, when airport operators move along the com- This analysis could also consider certification and de- mon use continuum without the input of the airlines currently ployment models for common use applications that serving that airport there can be distrust in the motivation and have been identified as an area of concern within the a concern that the airport's strategy will not support the air- industry. Current certification and deployment models line business processes put in place to support its passengers. are looked on today with varying degrees of success. The converse can also be true, in that airport operators that A valuable area of research might be to identify other engage the airlines in the process generally succeed in their industries with similar certification and deployment common use initiatives. needs, and determine how their models of certification and deployment would be applied to the airline indus- This review of the common use continuum highlights try. Opportunity exists for improving the certification six areas for continued study. A discussion of these areas and deployment process and ensuring that the time that follows. it takes to release a certified application is reduced to the shortest time possible. 1. Complete a Full Common Use Continuum Analysis-- As a final element of the analysis, a cost-recovery This synthesis generally defines the common use model should be developed. Common use strategies continuum and gives it a high-level overview. It is rec- have implementation costs. Some airlines argue that the ommended that a full analysis of the common use con- common use strategies should be implemented by air- tinuum be performed. Such an analysis would examine port operators without cost to the airlines. Many airport each of the elements of common use, from technology operators are unable to give goods or services for free to facilities, and from physical modifications to per- owing to municipal, state, or federal government laws. sonnel requirements. The analysis of the common use Airport operators may need to charge airlines on a cost- continuum would identify which elements need to be recovery basis. This information, along with the addressed to move along the common use continuum. cost/benefit analysis, could provide airports with the Additionally, this analysis could identify other areas ability to properly charge for a common use strategy, al- where common use solutions need to be developed for lowing airlines and airports to receive benefit from the future migration along the common use continuum. implementation of the common use strategy. The results of this analysis itself could help the indus- 2. Prepare a Cost/Benefit Analysis Template--Creation try better understand the benefits, impacts, and con- of a cost/benefit analysis template could enable both cerns of common use initiatives. Also, the results of airport operators and airlines to review the benefits of a such an analysis could have direct input to the follow- common use strategy. The identified benefits of this ing recommendations. strategy have not been clearly tied to costs that could be This analysis could consider space planning review incurred when making a move along the common use to ensure that growth on the common use continuum continuum. Each airport installation will be different; does not exceed the inherent limitations of the airport however, there are some common costs and benefits space or operations. Two such examples include: that could be analyzed and made available to the indus- try. It could also be beneficial to conduct a review of the Common use ticket counter design--It is possible to costs associated with proprietary airline systems and design too much counter utilization, such that the develop a comparative cost model where implementa- baggage conveyor systems are rendered inadequate tion of a common use strategy could be compared with to accommodate the full implementation of the com- the airline expenses for installing and maintaining mon use counters. dedicated systems. This would be a general assessment Gate utilization and off-gate parking models--As an that would include quantitative and qualitative system airport moves along the common use continuum, factors. Although individual airlines deploy differing gate utilization becomes much more granular and systems with differential investments, a generalized off-gate parking becomes much more important. Air- comparative assessment could be a demonstration of ports need to have a model that can assist them in cal- cost compatibility. Preparation of the cost/benefit culating efficient gate utilization. The model also analysis template could be conducted in coordination needs to identify the ratio of off-gate parking to the with the preparation of the design guidelines. number of airlines operating at an airport. The ratio 3. Establish a Common Use Knowledge Base and Users of off-gate parking also needs to be compared with Group--The amount of information available to edu- the number of gates and the number of aircraft turns cate and share on common use is limited. Tools and

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44 forums exist today for people to share information provide the tools necessary for the airport operators to about topics of mutual interest. A common use knowl- determine what elements of a common use strategy to edge base would allow airports and airlines the ability implement and the benefit of those implementations. to research industry knowledge that is currently avail- The design and implementation guide could provide able, but not well documented. A user group for the best practices, answer common questions, and assist in common use continuum would allow airports and air- the initial design and implementation of a common use lines to share experience, answer questions, and gain strategy. It could also give airport operators some guid- knowledge about common use strategies and how to ance about the order in which to implement common implement them successfully. use strategies to make the most effective use of capital The knowledge base could consist of its own website, expenditures. The guide could also be timed with the electronic library, and on-line user group. A global or- release of the IATA/ATA/ACI recommended practice ganization could solicit endorsement/sponsorship from for the Common Use Passenger Processing System the existing professional organizations such that user (CUPPS) so as to take into account the implementation group sessions could be held in coordination with an- requirements of CUPPS. nual conferences. The documentation resources identi- 5. Establish Best Practices in Support and Maintenance-- fied in this synthesis can be a starting point, along with Support and maintenance of common use strategies and the results of the full analysis. Continuing feedback solutions are important to their success and require best from this knowledge base and user group would benefit practices research. Such research could examine ac- all stakeholders in preparation of design guidelines as count processes, such as ITIL and ISO, as well as recommended here. review support and maintenance practices in other in- 4. Prepare a Common Use Design and Implementation dustries. The best practices could then be gathered and Guide--IATA has created a Common Use Self-Service presented to the industry so that support and mainte- (CUSS) implementation guide that can be of assistance nance would be at levels that exceed the expectations of to airports wanting to implement CUSS. Similarly, the industry. IATA has introduced intelligence tools such as Air- 6. Develop a Funding Model--Airport operators need to portIS, which help airport operators understand market identify sources of funding common use initiatives. dynamics and peer-to-peer comparisons. Through such Along with identifying potential sources of funding, tools, the end user can conduct various analyses to they also need to develop a model that will aid them in identify and evaluate new ideas, benchmark one airport determining the feasibility of implementing common against another, and improve design-related tech- use. This model would allow airport operators to de- niques. It is recommended that the preparation of these termine appropriate funding sources, as well as deter- guidelines take the same approach, so that an airport mine the business model, costing, etc., of a common operator could have one document at its disposal to use system. Based on the variables defined in the begin a common use strategy and design process. A model, the airport operator would be able to determine common use design and implementation guide would the potential benefits of implementing common use.