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11 reach the curb prior to the arrival of the individuals being credit card when entering and exiting the facility. In areas picked up are typically forced to move by police or traffic with local tollway systems, airport revenue systems compati- enforcement agents, which increases recirculating traffic on ble with the tollway authority's payment transponder can be already congested roadways and causes secondary problems, installed. At several airports, passengers are offered, for a including small fee, the option to check their baggage and obtain a board- ing pass upon arriving at the parking facilities. Increased parking along the shoulders of the access road- ways as drivers wait before returning to the curbside, Aviation Industry Interviews Potentially unsafe driving maneuvers resulting from driv- ers attempting to access impromptu parking areas or being A crucial component in identifying common issues associ- uncertain about the return path to the terminal, ated with terminal landside facilities and recent innovations Operational effects on traffic as drivers travel slower than was to conduct interviews with a diverse set of representatives the traffic flow to lengthen their travel time back to the from the aviation industry, including airport management, curb, and airlines, airport technology groups, and airport ground trans- Increased vehicle emissions. portation experts. A brief summary of the common issues identified in the interviews is provided below. Recent innovations to improve on-airport ground access vary between physical improvements and technology-based Airport Management operational improvements. Airport operators are providing Many of the observations by airport management repre- dedicated short-term parking lots, frequently referred to as sentatives related to the overall goal of reducing passenger cell phone lots, for drivers to wait for their parties to arrive. stress and anxiety. One representative interviewed had devel- These lots are typically provided free of charge and, in some oped a "stress curve" equating stress reduction not only to cases, have large flight information display screens that notify improved passenger satisfaction, but also to increased con- drivers when flights have arrived. Other innovations designed cession revenues. to move vehicles more efficiently through the airport roadway Issues related to passengers getting to the airport included systems include the general underutilization of transit systems by airline pas- sengers in North America. A theory expressed in the United Low-frequency advisory radio and variable message systems Kingdom was that, for a landside transit network to be effec- on overhead signage to notifying travelers of bottlenecks; tive, its own synergy is required, similar to the airside, where Peak-hour pricing discounts that reduce or eliminate park- the addition of connecting passengers to the mix of originat- ing fees, encouraging drivers to park their vehicles rather ing and terminating passengers enables the airlines to provide than circle on airport roadways; and a more extensive route network. Automated vehicle identification (AVI), which can help Considerable concern was expressed about curbside con- track the number of commercial vehicle trips through the gestion and the reduction of recirculating courtesy vehicle terminal core. trips for both congestion and environmental reasons. An in- novative concept is being introduced at the new Terminal 5 Public Parking at Heathrow Airport: instead of a conventional linear curb, a departures forecourt is situated on top of the parking The demand for airport parking continues to grow. At most garage--this provides more flexibility for the different depar- airports, parking is the number one source of nonairline ture functions and transportation modes. This concept has revenue. At airports where parking lots are full on a daily the added advantage that all vertical circulation on the land- basis, new ways to accommodate demand must be found. side is on the pedestrian side of the roadway system. Building elevated parking structures is costly; therefore, many The issue of parking anxiety was also raised, and many airport operators are exploring and implementing technology- examples of "smart" garages were noted in which vacant based solutions that promote the increased use of available parking spaces are indicated along with advance notice of spaces as well as offering services to encourage customers to which garages, particularly at large airports, have available continue parking at the airport in the future. spaces via active signage or telephone information. New "smart parking" systems work well in close-in parking Discussion of the check-in process mostly focused on the garages where a network of different colored lights is used to amount of automation possible. Use of the Internet to obtain guide passengers to available parking spaces. Other technolo- boarding passes and use of SSDs at the airport are recognized gies, such as "e-park," allow customers to swipe the same as coming into general use. The general consensus is that

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12 self-tagging of check baggage will eventually be available in an airline has complete occupancy of a terminal building at the United States, with 80% or more of all passengers using self- a hub airport, sharing technology with other airlines and service functions via kiosks at the airport or in remote locations terminals provides little benefit. Branding is also an issue. or via the Internet. Common-use systems are seen as a viable Whereas visual branding can be achieved through icons on approach, with a preference for the backbone and hardware flat-screen displays, airlines may consider their own particular being provided by the airport operator, with customization for process at a proprietary self-service kiosk to be superior to each airline. The point was raised that, at single-carrier termi- others and a common-use system would be mediocre by nals (typically an airline hub), common-use systems are not as comparison. The participants also identified interface prob- relevant as in terminals with multiple airlines. lems with common-use systems, which often involve the airline The increased flexibility offered by common-use systems having to adapt its software and technology to accommodate leads to greater utilization, resulting in cost savings through different operating systems at different airports. It was strongly staff reductions and increased capacity for the airlines; felt that industry standards are necessary and that a common however, an unintended consequence of automation has been backbone would be ideal; once an airline's icon is activated, that staffing reductions can present serious problems during the self-service process from thereon would be part of the periods of irregular operations when large numbers of pas- airline's proprietary system. sengers need to be rerouted. Nevertheless, there seemed to be a consensus that common- Changing demographics were discussed with the general use equipment is becoming more popular among airport assumption that leisure travel will increase, although it was management because of the benefits it provides, particularly thought that increased leisure travel would not drive the same in allowing flexibility for growth and contraction at both the level of ultra-low-cost travel in the United States as it has in check-in points and aircraft gates. This flexibility would be Europe. Leisure travel has had a major effect on airport opera- particularly advantageous at origin and destination airports tions through increased space requirements resulting from pas- and at spoke locations for hub-and-spoke airlines. A major sengers arriving at the airport much earlier, increased volumes advantage of CUSS kiosks is that they can more easily be of checked baggage, and a lack of passenger sophistication. made available at remote locations. SSCP queuing was raised as a concern by all, and it was Baggage check was also identified as a major issue. Ideally, generally agreed that, even though airport operators have in- the airlines would like passengers to divest themselves of their vested in expanded screening, the TSA has not always staffed bags at the earliest opportunity. Also discussed were concepts the SSCPs to capacity. Information regarding queuing times of checking bags away from the airport--either at transit would be helpful to passengers and the registered traveler locations, which has been implemented at some locations in program could help; however, in its present form, this program Europe, or at home or the office through a delivery service. is not perceived to be beneficial enough to attract large numbers Remote baggage check could result in the airlines receiving of customers. bags too early and having to deal with bag storage. On-airport Another common point was that the arrivals process is typ- remote baggage check was thought to be a positive concept, es- ically less problematic than the departures process; however, pecially in new construction situations where a high-speed belt it was noted that waiting times for checked baggage have in- could connect the check-in location with the baggage system. creased, mostly as a result of staffing reductions and the lack It was noted that in Japan, baggage-delivery services are of automation on the arrivals end. Meeters and greeters, who available to accept bags from passengers immediately after the are not allowed on the airside, also present a problem as they bags are claimed and then the bags are delivered to the pas- typically receive arrival gate information that may not direct senger's desired location. This service is especially beneficial them to the point where their parties exit from the secure side when ongoing travel is by surface transit modes that may not of the terminal. Arrival points for domestic passengers should be well suited for passengers traveling with large bags. be designated and identified similar to arrival points for inter- Curbside check-in continues to be a major problem in that national passengers. the length of curbside allocated for check-in is generally directly related to the ticket counter length inside the building, which may not be sufficient. Promising concepts include those ob- Airlines served at certain European airports, where a forecourt with a Motivated by a desire to improve passenger levels of ser- much larger area has replaced the departures curbside, enabling vice and operational efficiency, the airlines are aggressively multiple functions to be performed, including baggage check. pursuing the integration of technology into their passenger- Self-tagging of check baggage was also discussed. It was processing functions industrywide. However, some debate is generally thought that it would be beneficial for passengers to ongoing as to whether common-use equipment is necessarily tag their own check baggage, as they do in certain European the best way to achieve the airlines' goals. For example, where countries; however, the concern was raised that such a system