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25 Another major challenge to implementation of a process- based departures hall is that airlines typically view their branding as an important part of their ability to differentiate themselves from other airlines. The process-based departures hall limits opportunities for branding to the full-service counters, which accommodate only 20% of originating pas- sengers, and the airline-specific portion of the SSD software. However, the operational efficiencies associated with the process-based departures hall may cause the airlines to strongly consider the trade-off between reducing costs and maintain- ing brand identity at the terminal landside facilities. Passenger-Processing Facilities The innovations identified regarding passenger-processing facilities address the fundamental issue that expansion or major renovation of terminal landside facilities is very expensive and often has a significant impact on operations. One option for delaying more expensive capital projects is to relocate some of the major passenger-processing functions commonly located in airport terminal landside facilities such as check-in, baggage check, and curbside operations or to combine the facilities with complementary facilities such as close-in parking. These multifunctional passenger-processing facili- ties (see Figure 4-2) could be located adjacent to an existing terminal, within the airport but remote from the central termi- nal area or remote from the airport near a major population center, such as a central business district or urban shopping center. The passenger-processing facilities in all three configura- Figure 4-2. Passenger-processing facilities. tions shown in Figure 4-2 would be connected to the existing terminal in different ways. An adjacent passenger-processing facility (APPF) would be connected to the existing terminal and therefore less expensive to construct. The combination of via a pedestrian link such as a sky bridge with moving side- these major functions with other related functions, such as walks. The on-airport passenger-processing facility (OPPF) POV curbside operations, should provide additional capacity could be connected to the terminal via some form of people and increase the level of service for passengers in a more cost- mover such as an APM. The remote passenger-processing effective manner than expanding an existing terminal and facility (RPPF) could be integrated with a regional transit sys- associated landside facilities. tem that connects to the airport or could be a collection point for the regional transit system with a dedicated connection to Examples the central terminal area via busing operations or an APM. The APPF and OPPF could also serve as collection points for Similar facilities have been implemented at a variety of other on-airport ground transportation functions such as re- airports in the United States, as well as in other countries. mote parking, off-airport transit, and rental car operations. San Francisco International Airport and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport offer check-in and baggage check at on-airport remote parking locations. Some airports, such Key Drivers as Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International, offer curbside The key driving force behind developing passenger- check-in (using skycaps) in the close-in parking garage. The processing facilities that accommodate a variety of functions close-in parking garage at Heathrow Airport's new Terminal 5 at locations other than the conventional terminal building is (see Figure 2-1) combines a number of passenger-processing to delay major capital projects required to expand the capacity functions, such as POV and CV curbside operations, parking, of an existing terminal; this innovation may be less complex and regional transit. Munich Airport provides check-in and
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26 baggage check within the train station located between the two is that wayfinding within the terminal landside could be sim- terminals (see Figure 2-2), which is combined with the rental plified by directing passengers to a passenger-processing fa- car counters and the regional transit system. Vienna Interna- cility that serves multiple terminals or a single terminal with tional Airport has a remote terminal (City Airport Terminal) multiple airlines rather than directing them to various posi- located in downtown Vienna, which is connected to the re- tions along the terminal curbside for a specific airline. Ver- gional transit system and has a dedicated rail link to the airport. tical transitions could also be minimized in a passenger- The remote terminal offers both check-in and baggage check processing facility by locating all curbside operations on one (see Figures 2-3 and 2-4), with the checked bags transported level compared with many terminals with multilevel roadway to the airport in secure sections of the rail cars. Hong Kong systems. Consolidated passenger-processing facilities, particu- International Airport offers check-in and baggage transporta- larly APPFs and OPPFs, would also help alleviate some of the tion assistance (which is fee based) at the Hong Kong and congestion commonly experienced on the terminal roadway Kowloon train stations located on the Airport Express dedi- resulting from curbside check-in competing with passen- cated railway. The Airport Express station at the airport is ger drop-off and recirculating traffic. Finally, consolidated located in the Ground Transportation Centre, which also passenger-processing facilities could reduce or eliminate at- accommodates multiple local and regional bus services. grade crossings by providing for the delivery of passengers directly into the terminal building. One of the main disadvantages of such innovative passenger- Assumptions/Prerequisites processing facilities is that the functions currently provided The feasibility of such innovative passenger-processing adjacent to the terminal building, such as curbside check-in facilities relies heavily on the key assumption that passengers and private or commercial vehicle drop-off/pickup, would be would be able to tag their own check baggage. Without this relocated to facilities farther away from the terminal, creating ability, passenger check-in would still be available via SSDs, the perception of a lower level of service. However, for the but checking baggage would require airline agent support OPPF, the use of automated transit systems versus busing or relocation of the existing curbside check-in operations. operations to connect passengers between the passenger- In addition, common baggage screening systems for each processing facility and the terminal might be seen as an terminal would greatly increase the viability of innovative improvement, especially if the terminal roadway is often con- passenger-processing facilities, as passengers from any airline gested or the close-in parking facility does not provide the operating within each terminal would be able to use the check- type of amenities that today's passengers expect (elevators, in or baggage check services located within the passenger- SSDs, minimal at-grade crossings, etc.). Walking distances processing facility. For the APPF and OPPF, the existence of from the APPF could be improved by moving walkways. adequate close-in parking at the airport may reduce the added benefit of either type of passenger-processing facility as park- Operations Perspective ing is a key element of both innovative facilities. However, if the airport needs to add parking or the close-in parking Passenger-processing facilities that accommodate a variety garage is in need of major reconstruction, either the APPF or of functions at locations other than the conventional terminal OPPF would be a good alternative. The RPPF concept was building could benefit landside operations in a number of examined in detail in ACRP Project 10-02, "Planning Guide ways. First, rather than reconstructing close-in parking facil- for Offsite Terminals." ities or terminal roadways while the terminal remains opera- tional, constructing passenger-processing facilities in areas outside the central terminal area would result in lower con- Evaluation struction costs and minimal operational impacts. Using remote parking structures not only for parking but also for curbside Passenger Perspective operations and check-in or baggage check would be another Passenger-processing facilities that accommodate a variety advantage compared with expanding either the existing ter- of functions at locations other than the conventional terminal minal roadway system or the terminal itself. Also, combining building have the potential to address a number of the issues parking and curbside operations could allow for enforcement that passengers commonly face. The ability to check in and to be focused on a few locations compared with enforcing check baggage in proximity to parking relieves passengers of POV parking on the terminal roadway at both the departures the need to transport their baggage from a close-in or remote curb and the arrivals curb for multiple airlines or even multi- parking garage to the terminal before the bags can be checked. ple terminals. The opportunity to move an entire mode of This process would be especially beneficial to the elderly and transportation (e.g., private or commercial vehicles) into a those with disabilities. Another advantage of this innovation consolidated location would reduce the number of POVs on