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5 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND PURPOSE The U.S. air travel industry is undergoing a period of econo- The objective of this synthesis is to provide a document that mization to remain competitive and solvent. As a result, air- consolidates information on common use for airports in a sin- lines and airport operators are working together to reduce gle source. This report therefore functions as a good starting costs and make air travel more efficient. At the same time, point in the understanding of common use. It is intended that the air travel industry continues to look for ways to improve this synthesis be presented to all stakeholders, including air- customer service, the customer experience, and to speed up lines, airport operators, passengers, government entities, the passenger processing flow. vendors, and ground handlers. Concurrent with the airlines seeking to economize to re- The synthesis assembles literature and survey informa- duce their operating costs is that airport operators across the tion on the effect of common use on airport and airline fi- United States are regaining control of their airport re- nances, technology, operations, facilities, and business and sources (i.e., terminals, gates, etc.) through the expiration policy decisions. Common use information is synthesized of long-term leases, and sometimes by airlines ceasing or from the perspectives of passenger processing, ground dramatically reducing operations at the airport operators' handling, and technology infrastructure. The synthesis locations. This has caused U.S. airport operators to reeval- should leave the reader with a better understanding of com- uate the business model used to work with airlines to ensure mon use and the expected risks, rewards, and issues that the local needs of the cities being served are met, as well as may exist. the needs of the airlines. SCOPE One solution with the potential for addressing these needed areas of improvement is the implementation of com- This synthesis presents the research conducted with airports, mon use. Common use enables an airport operator to take relevant committees, airlines, and applicable vendors on space that has previously been exclusive to a single airline their collective experience with current and planned common and make it available for use by multiple airlines. These use strategies. Throughout the document, the synthesis draws spaces include ticketing areas, gate hold rooms, gates, curb- from both actual experiences to date, as well as from known side areas, loading bridges, apron areas, and club spaces. future developments. Common use provides airports and airlines with the ability to Collection of information was through the following better manage operations in the passenger processing envi- resources: ronment, improving passenger flow and ultimately reducing overall costs. However, even with more than two decades of Existing knowledge source research: implementation history, the benefits of common use are still Objective literature from international and domestic not adequately catalogued. locations on facilities and practices (whether or not common use is in place); Common use may also include any space that is used or Aviation industry emerging standards; can be used to provide a service to the passenger. In this way, Airline literature; parking lots, baggage claim areas, and passageways can be International Air Transport Association's (IATA's) considered common use. Common use also affects physical Simplifying the Business surveys, initiatives, and plant facilities such as preconditioned air and power. Other articles; and systems typically affected include ticketing, kiosks, baggage Applicable vendor literature. systems, check-in, next-generation check-in, and telephony. Airline and airport surveys (conducted in coordination Airport common use systems also are increasingly being em- with this synthesis). ployed in cruise ship terminals, hotels, ground transportation, Interviews with airport operators and airlines represent- and other nonairport environments. ing different aspects of common use implementation.