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OCR for page 117
Air Passenger Surveys 117 What are the pay rates for interviewers and supervisors? Will pay rates be higher for very early morning and late-night hours? Where will the field staff be based at the airport? Will this location provide for ready access, charging of electronic devices, security, and storage of both supplies and personal effects for those in the field? Will this incur any costs? Will field staff wear uniforms or identifiable clothing (e.g., vests or aprons)? What supplies will be required? Will it be necessary to purchase or rent EDCDs and chargers, or other electronic equipment? Do the EDCDs come with adequate software, or will software need to be purchased? How many copies of questionnaire forms will be required? Will show cards be used? How many sets will be required? Is there a supplemental hand-out/mail-back questionnaire? What printing costs will be involved? What postage costs will be incurred? 5.11.9 Quality Control Who will be responsible for checking completed work? What percentage of all work will be checked at the beginning? As the project progresses? When will this take place? (Beware of overtime!) What logic checks will be performed? Who will develop the protocols for these checks? How will completed and checked work be transmitted to the survey sponsor or technical expert for further review? At what frequency will this occur? How much time will these further checks take? (Again, likely more than you think unless you have done this before, particularly for a survey involving geocoding trip origins.) 5.11.10 Data Entry and Verification Will completed questionnaires need data entry? How will data entry be accomplished? How many mailed-back forms are likely to need processing? Will the data entry be verified? In what way and in what amount? 5.11.11 Analysis and Reporting What sort of report will be required? Who will prepare statistical tabulations or any computations needed? Will statistical software need to be purchased? Who will prepare the graphics? How many graphics will there be? Who will write each section of the report? How many sections will there be, and how long will each one be? Will there be an oral presentation? Will this presentation incur costs such as mileage or airfare, car rental, parking, and per diems? 5.12 Summary Air passenger surveys are the most common type of airport user survey, but they involve many complex issues that need careful consideration if the results are to be useful and accurate. These issues include the following: Whether to interview passengers or use self-completed survey forms. Where to perform the survey.

OCR for page 117
118 Guidebook for Conducting Airport User Surveys When to perform the survey and over how long a period. How large a sample size to aim for. Development of an appropriate sampling plan. Development of a well-designed and carefully worded questionnaire. Selection and training of field staff. Planning of survey logistics. How to weight the survey responses. Because air passenger characteristics vary by hour of the day and day of the week, passenger surveys should generally take place over at least a full week and cover all hours of each day. These surveys are best conducted either in the airline gate lounges before a flight departs or as passen- gers arrive or depart from the security screening area. The choice of location will depend on fac- tors such as the survey population, the types of information being collected, the layout of the terminal(s), and the survey method used. The fact that many passengers will be traveling as part of a group needs to be considered in designing an air passenger survey. Self-completed surveys are usually handed out to every passen- ger on a selected flight (or at least those waiting in the gate lounge), while interview surveys gen- erally interview only one person from each air travel party. This difference needs to be reflected in the questionnaire design, sampling plan, and analysis and reporting of the survey results. Even with the most carefully designed sampling plan, it is inevitable that the resulting survey responses will not exactly correspond to the composition of the underlying target population. Some passengers will be over-sampled and some will be under-sampled. In particular, it is likely that those passengers arriving at the gate close to flight departure time will be under-sampled. Over-sampling or under-sampling may also result from variations in aircraft size, flight load fac- tors, or constraints of the sampling plan. Therefore, it will generally be desirable to weight the survey results. Calculation of appropriate weights requires careful thought and the collection of ancillary information about the target population that can be used to determine the extent of any bias in the survey responses. Groundside surveys of vehicle occupants form a special type of air passenger survey that can be used to obtain detailed information for planning airport groundside facilities. These surveys-- which provide information on greeters and well-wishers as well as passengers--are performed at various locations on the airport landside, including terminal curbs, parking facilities, and shuttle bus or public transportation pick-up and drop-off stops. Because the sampling rate varies widely from location to location and time to time, the results need to be weighted using counts of vehi- cles at different facilities as well as counts of originating and terminating air passengers. Finally, this chapter has discussed the logistical issues involved in conducting air passenger surveys and estimating the cost of planning and performing such a survey.