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8 CHAPTER 2 Research Findings Three methods were used to collect relevant information whether their airport experience was satisfactory. Sources of on several topics that were either identified in the original passenger satisfaction data were Airline and Airport Passenger project statement, or subsequently identified as being central Opinions (www.airlinequality.com) (10); World Airport Awards to the topic of airport terminal landside facilities: (www.worldairportawards.com) (11); and North America Airport Satisfaction Study (12). The following issues were 1. Review of relevant research in published literature and on commonly identified by a number of passengers as having a the Internet; positive or negative effect on their airport experience: 2. Personal interviews with members of the aviation com- munity; and Wayfinding; 3. On-site observations of recent innovations at airports in Multiple vertical transitions from public transportation to the United States, Europe, and Asia. the gate; Airport/airline staff friendliness; Walking distances; Published Document Review Availability of self-service check-in; The goal of reviewing recent and current research was to Availability of landside (i.e., pre-security) amenities; identify best practices and recent innovations or future trends Signage in the arrivals hall; in airport terminal planning and design specifically related to Queues at curbside, check-in, and security; landside facilities as defined for this project. To streamline the Connections to rental car pickup/drop-off; research efforts, the following key topics were established: Bag claim wait times; Availability of real-time information pertaining to wait Passenger satisfaction, times and gate assignments; and Aging passengers, Availability of rail service to the city center. Industry initiatives, Wayfinding, Aging Passengers Passenger processing, Innovative terminal design/future trends, One aspect in developing innovative concepts for airport Regional access to airports, terminal landside facilities is the effect of age on the ability of On-airport ground access, and passengers and others to navigate through the complex facil- Public parking. ities of an airport. In 2000, there were approximately 35 million people age 65 and older in the United States; that number is The sources used in the research and the issues identified in expected to increase to approximately 63 million by 2025, relation to each of these topics are discussed below. potentially representing 30 million to 60 million trips and $300 million and $3 billion in financial impact to airports and airlines, respectively (13). The major issues identified for the Passenger Satisfaction aging population are walking distances, waiting times, and Passenger satisfaction reports were reviewed to identify the wayfinding (13). In addition, a significant difference between crucial issues that passengers consider when determining disabled and aging passengers is that while disabled passengers

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9 are acutely aware of their limits, elderly people may also expe- critical information related to passenger journeys, and gives rience reduced mobility, agility, and stamina, but do not want passengers clear and simple directions to their destinations. to be considered disabled (13). Key issues for elderly passengers Through the research process, several key factors that make include the following: wayfinding more effective were identified. Importantly, the changing demographics of the traveling public (aging passen- Elevators are preferred over stairs, escalators, and moving gers, an increase in new/inexperienced passengers, etc.) present walkways. new challenges for airport wayfinding. To account for these Lighting is very important to wayfinding. changes, wayfinding must be easily understandable with simple Prolonged standing while waiting at curbside, check-in, or nomenclature and primary directional messages. Wayfinding security is a problem. must also be intuitive, which can be accomplished by clear Seating is needed adjacent to the queues and in the bag- lines of sight, visible recognizable objects, and even retracing claim hall. the path taken at the beginning of the trip on the return trip. Information regarding the time required for arriving bags Further, directional signage should be easily recognizable to reach the claim devices would help reduce prolonged amid the background of competing signage frequently found standing. at airports. Transporting baggage is very challenging. Ground transportation should be as close to the bag-claim Passenger Processing hall as possible (14). When considering the processing capabilities of airport Industry Initiatives facilities, it is important to view the terminal and ground transportation facilities as a complete system with a complex In 2004, IATA introduced a significant industry initiative set of interrelated subsystems, including road and rail systems, entitled "Simplifying the Business," which was intended to re- vehicle-processing and storage facilities, pedestrian access, spond to the substantial financial hardships that the airline in- pedestrian circulation and processing, and baggage processing. dustry experienced in the last few years by pursuing initiatives With increasing numbers of passengers and the long lead times to improve customer service while lowering airline operating associated with major capital development projects, a number costs through better use of technology to process passengers, of issues related to passenger processing have become com- baggage, and cargo. The tenets of this initiative were as follows: monplace at many airports. The following key issues were identified: To implement 100% the use of e-tickets by the end of 2007, To implement widespread use of CUSS kiosks, Overcrowded walkways reduce passenger flows. To enable passengers to manage all appropriate aspects of Passengers are stressed by queues at check-in and the SSCP. the departure and arrival processes via self-service Wayfinding is convoluted and signage is often lost in the To replace magnetic-strip boarding passes with bar-coded background. boarding passes Passengers use curbside check-in to avoid the chaos in the To build a collaborative framework for airports and airlines check-in lobby. to identify and address baggage handling problems Passengers have different expectations depending on their To transition to e-freight to eliminate paper from the ship- level of experience with airline travel. ping process (15) Several approaches have been used at airports to help miti- IATA estimated that these six tenets could save the aviation gate or resolve these issues and to improve the passenger's industry as much as $6.5 billion annually (15). experience. Minimizing walking distances, particularly between At many airports, new check-in strategies based on innova- ground transportation services or close-in parking and the tive methods of deploying self-service check-in kiosks have been terminal, helps reduce passenger fatigue and anxiety before implemented, allowing passengers to print boarding passes they reach the potentially more stressful check-in and security and/or bag tags without waiting in a queue for an airline agent. processes. One approach, made possible as a result of the widespread implementation of SSDs, is to empower passen- gers to select the services they need as well as the location Wayfinding from which they select the required services (e.g., SSDs at a Wayfinding is much more than signage. Wayfinding allows hotel or Internet check-in). For example, frequent business passengers to orient themselves within the facility, provides travelers--familiar with airport processes--may seek a fast

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10 track to the SSCP after having checked-in remotely. As some area has led to more open spaces and better wayfinding in queues may be unavoidable, another strategy is to provide the terminal, close-in parking, and ground transportation. passengers waiting in the queue with information pertaining Terminal roadways are being segmented by mode of trans- to their journeys, such as flight/gate information or with en- portation rather than by departures and arrivals (e.g., ground tertainment distractions to make the wait less stressful. transportation centers). Nonsecure people-mover systems are being used not only to transport passengers between terminals, but also to connect Innovative Terminal Design/Future Trends them to regional transit, consolidated rental car centers, Modern airport terminal design is a vast departure from that and remote parking. In some locations, passengers are able of the past, but there are also many similarities. One of the to check in for their flights and check their baggage at the most notable differences is the use of technology to make the remote locations. buildings and processes more efficient and customer friendly. A review of case studies and press releases regarding new These trends were important considerations for the innova- terminal projects identified the following innovative designs/ tions identified in Chapter 4 and the concepts incorporating future trends: the innovations illustrated in Chapters 5 and 6 and were improved upon by combining a number of innovations. As passenger processing speeds increase, the size of the facility and the staffing requirements can be reduced while Regional Access to Airports customer satisfaction increases. Many airport operators and the surrounding communities Due to increasing congestion on highways, many airport are considering massive investments in public trans- operators and local and state governments are considering portation, particularly rail systems. The main goal will be mass transit, high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) use, demand to provide easy access between the terminal and intermodal management programs, and the use of technology as potential facilities while at the same time providing a service that is solutions to roadway congestion. While the preferred trans- financially feasible. portation mode to access airports in the United States will Passengers desire more choices for check-in so that they may likely continue to be the private vehicle, airport operators avoid unnecessary queues or agent transactions. Because continue to seek the resources to provide alternative modes traditional ticketing/check-in layouts do not provide suffi- of transportation for access to the airport. cient options, the focus has shifted to automated self-service The largest challenge to mass transit is funding. Securing operations in a variety of locations on and off the airport. public funding support is a major challenge for operators of To improve flexibility, the shell of the terminal building both large and small airports seeking to provide HOV access can be a separate structure from the core facilities inside. by rubber-tired vehicles, a public rail system, or both. As it is difficult to predict the needs of passengers and air- The emergence of the low-cost carrier business model has lines beyond 5 or 10 years, this separation would allow resulted in more point-to-point airline service and a dramatic airport operators to minimize the cost of adapting to the increase in the numbers of passengers at small-hub airports changing needs of airport users. (between 0.05% and 0.25% of total U.S. passenger boardings) Relocating the terminal curbside roadways into the parking and at airports near major metropolitan areas. The increase garage could minimize at-grade crossings. Other tradi- in passengers at airports served by low-cost carriers has effec- tional terminal functions--check-in, baggage check, and tively dispersed airport-generated traffic over a larger region rental car pickup/drop-off--are now being performed in and away from the dominant airport serving the metropoli- the parking garage. tan area. This dispersion reduces the ability of even the larger Enhanced wayfinding through the use of natural light, airports to justify expensive rail projects. straightforward circulation, and large public spaces allows passengers to see more of the terminal and better orient On-Airport Ground Access themselves within the space. Hotels and business centers integrated into the terminal The travel experience from the airport entrance to the facilities or located adjacent to the terminal provide a aircraft departure gate is one of the most stressful parts of the greater variety of services at the airport and attract cus- passenger's trip. Scheduled arrival and departure times dur- tomers other than those related to airline travel. ing peak periods produce the most congestion on airport Renewed focus on the bag claim or arrivals hall as the pas- roadways--for example, drivers wishing to pick up passengers sengers' first impression of the airport and surrounding are often not aware of delays to arriving aircraft. Drivers who