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7 CHAPTER TWO COMMON USE CONTINUUM Airport operators and airlines are continually looking for op- All airports begin with a basic level of common use. portunities to be more efficient and at the same time improve Based on interviews, once an airport facility moves beyond the customer experience. In this search for efficiency, every as- the basic level, the airport operator, airlines, and passengers pect of the business model is reviewed, analyzed, and inspected begin to see additional benefits with common use. Beyond to determine if there are better ways to provide a more stream- the basic level, however, there is an inherent lag-time be- lined travel experience at a lower cost and a higher profit. It is tween when an airport is capable of a common use model and at the airport where the goals of airports and airlines meet. Air- when they choose to implement that common use model. As lines may be looking to increase or decrease the number of explained in chapter seven, there may be operational and flights to a given market, change seasonal flight schedules to business considerations that have to be identified before meet demand, or adjust their fleet based on the requirements of moving along the common use continuum. a given market. Airport operators, on the other hand, are look- ing for ways to improve and ensure the continuity of the service EXCLUSIVE USE MODEL provided to their region by adding flights, adding additional air- lines, and maximizing the use of their facilities. At one end of the common use continuum is the exclusive use model. This model defines all airline-specific space as used One key factor in any decision making is the cost of exclusively by a given airline. In this model, each airline has doing business in a given market. "Airport operators are dedicated ticketing counters, gates, office space, ramp space, constantly challenged by the dual objective of needing to etc. Airlines have traditionally favored this model because it maximize limited resources while providing a passenger- gives them the most direct control over their flight schedule friendly experience" (Finn 2005). Because of these contra- and operations. The airline provides gate management and dictory factors, airport operators are challenged with other specialty applications to ensure efficient operations increasing their passenger throughput while minimizing within the airline's allotted space. To add flights, the airline their capital expenditures and construction. One effective must have space available at its gates or be able to acquire way to reduce capital expenditures is to develop programs to additional gates at the airport. utilize existing space more efficiently so that capital expen- ditures end up being deferred. It has also been shown that In the exclusive use model, airlines pay for the space, even once capital expenditures are incurred for new construction if the airline is not using that space. Airport operators therefore of a gate, concourse, or terminal, these costs can be reduced reap the benefit of having space leased whether it is actively by as much as 30% if a common use strategy is used in the used or not. Another benefit for the airport operator is that man- design (de Neufville and Belin 2002). agement of space is minimal. In the exclusive use model, air- port operators only manage their airport usage based on airline The concept of the common use continuum, as shown in and total number of gates used exclusively by those airlines. Figure 1, indicates that airport operators can gain centralized control over facilities and technology, increase passenger pro- Airports, however, do not achieve maximum utilization in cessing options, and acquire shared use efficiencies as they the overall use of the facility, especially if the airlines that move from exclusive use toward common use. Conversely, service that airport do not have fully loaded schedules. airline tenants in an exclusive use arrangement retain a level of tenant autonomy over their physical space. Airport com- There will be obvious times of day when concourses will mon usable space is defined as space in which any airline may be crowded, with many flights arriving and departing at the operate and, as space that is not specifically dedicated to any same time, as well as times when the concourses are com- single airline. As shown in Figure 1, it is highly unlikely that pletely empty. The airport operator has few options available any airport with more than one airline servicing it does not to manage the peaks and valleys in the demand effectively provide some level of common use. Table 1 defines several over the course of a day. airport management models on the common use continuum, shows key differences and benefits of each, differences in As more flight services are added within peak time peri- common use locations, and their impact on key stakeholders ods in the airport, the airport operator must add more gates (e.g., airlines, passengers, and airport operators). and/or counter space. Once the airport operator is physically