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Glossary and Acronym List
Glossary
Around the Airport
Airfield The maneuvering area for aircraft, including the gates, apron,
taxiways, and runways. Also referred to as airside.
Airport user For the purpose of this guidebook, an airport user is anyone
using the facilities on the airport property, whether as an air
passenger, greeter, or well-wisher; an employee; or someone
picking up or delivering cargo, doing business at the airport,
making deliveries to the airport, or just sightseeing.
Airside See airfield. May include the area of the terminal beyond
security.
Arrivingdeparting Also known as A-D passengers, this refers to the number of
air passengers passengers on the plane when it arrives or departs. A-D pas-
sengers include passengers that remain on the plane during
any stopover.
Connecting passengers Air passengers that transfer between flights at the airport. These
passengers are an important statistic for terminal activity.
Curb area Also known as the curbside or curb front, it is the area imme-
diately in front of the terminal where vehicles are permitted
to drop off and pick up passengers.
Enplaneddeplaned Also known as E-D passengers, this is the most commonly air
passengers used statistic for air passengers and refers to the number of
passengers that get on (enplane) or get off (deplane) each
flight. It includes connecting passengers. There are more A-D
passengers than E-D passengers.
Groundside The portion of the airport property dedicated to vehicle usage,
including the roadways, parking lots, and curb area immedi-
ately adjacent to the terminal. Sometimes also referred to as
landside.
Landside See groundside. May include the area of the terminal before
security.
Load factor Ratio of passengers to passenger seats on a flight.
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Glossary and Acronym List 147
Origindestination Also known as O-D passengers, this is the number of passengers
air passengers starting or finishing their air trip at the airport. It is an impor-
tant statistic because it relates to the number of passengers
that will use the groundside area and airport access roads. The
difference between O-D and E-D passengers is the connect-
ing passengers.
Pay on foot machines Parking payment machines that are normally inside the ter-
minal building and are provided for easy payment of parking
fees before returning to the vehicle to exit the lot. This saves
time at the exit booth from the parking lot.
Planning peak day The amount of activity, passengers or vehicles that occurs
during a single day. This is not the highest day of activity, but
is representative of a typical day in the peak month.
Planning peak hour The amount of activity, passengers or vehicles that occurs
during a peak hour for planning purposes. Typically either
the 85th highest hour of activity over a year, or the busiest
hour of a typical day in the peak month, is used as the plan-
ning peak hour.
Planning peak period A period of the year that is considered the appropriate level
of demand for future planning. This period is not the highest
peak, but is representative of a typical day in the peak month.
Terminal Usually refers to the main air passenger facility or facilities.
Ticket spitter The machine at the entrance to the parking lot that dispenses
the ticket showing the time and date of entry.
Statistical Terms
Bias The amount an estimate differs from a true population value
because of some quality of the measurement device, sample
selection method, or other aspect of the survey.
Central Limit Theorem The Central Limit Theorem is a statement about the charac-
teristics of the sampling distribution of means of random
samples from a given population. That is, it describes the
characteristics of the distribution of values we would obtain
if we were able to draw an infinite number of random sam-
ples of a given size from a given population and we calculated
the mean of each sample.
The Central Limit Theorem consists of three statements:
[1] The mean of the sampling distribution of means is equal
to the mean of the population from which the samples
were drawn.
[2] The variance of the sampling distribution of means is
equal to the variance of the population from which the
samples were drawn divided by the size of the samples.
[3] If the original population is distributed normally (i.e., it
is bell shaped), the sampling distribution of means will

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148 Guidebook for Conducting Airport User Surveys
also be normal. If the original population is not normally
distributed, the sampling distribution of means will increas-
ingly approximate a normal distribution as sample size
increases (i.e., when increasingly large samples are drawn).
Cluster sampling A sample selection method where individuals in the popula-
tion belong to natural groups, or clusters (e.g., passengers on
airplanes), and members of the population are selected first
by selecting a sample of clusters, then selecting all or some of
the individuals within each selected cluster (the latter case is
a two-stage sampling scheme--see multi-stage sampling).
Confidence interval A range above and below the estimated value that may be
expected to contain the true value with a known probability.
The known probability is referred to as the level of confi-
dence. For example, a 95% confidence interval implies that if
100 samples were taken, we would expect the confidence inter-
val to contain the true population value in all but five cases.
Dataset Data, which is usually stored electronically, collected in a par-
ticular survey.
Estimate The value of a measure of some characteristic of the popula-
tion that is determined from the sample.
Estimation The process of producing an estimate.
Mean The average of the values of a particular characteristic of indi-
viduals in the population.
Median A measure that identifies the middle-point value (or 50th per-
centile) in a set of values when they are arranged in order of
magnitude. Thus 50% of the sample is greater than this value
and 50% is smaller.
Mode The most common value of a particular characteristic in a
sample.
Multi-stage sampling A sample that is selected in stages, where the sampling units
at each stage are subsamples from the previous stage.
Non-probability sampling A sampling selection method where it is not possible to deter-
mine the probability of individuals being selected.
Non-proportional A sampling method where different sampling fractions are
stratified sampling used to improve the accuracy of estimates for a given overall
sample size.
Percentage points Refers to the numerical value of a variable which is expressed
as a percentage. For example, a range of 50% ±5 percentage
points is equivalent to the range 45% to 55%.
Population The target population is the entire group of individuals about
which information is desired. The survey population is the
group of individuals that have a chance of being selected for
the sample. The survey population should ideally be identical
to the target population, but may not be exactly the same in
practice.

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Glossary and Acronym List 149
Probability sample A sample selected in such a way that each individual in the
population has a non-zero chance of being included and, in
principle, the probability can be calculated.
Proportional stratified A sampling method where the proportions of individuals in
sampling each group (referred to as the sampling fractions) are equal.
Random sampling A probability sample selection method where each member
of the population has an equal probability of selection.
Sample A subset of the population that is chosen to be representative
of the total population and that can therefore be used to make
generalizations about the population.
Sample mean The average of the values of a particular characteristic of indi-
viduals in a sample.
Sample size The number of individuals composing the sample.
Sample variance Sample variance of a particular characteristic is a measure of
the spread, or dispersion, of values of that characteristic
within a set of sample data.
Sampling fraction The ratio of the sample size to the population size.
Sampling frame A list of all members of a population used as a basis for
sampling.
Sampling plan Also referred to as sample design or survey design, the sam-
pling plan specifies the type of sampling to be used (e.g., single
or multi-stage, random, sequential, stratified, cluster sam-
pling), the definitions of strata or clusters, and the sample size.
Sequential sampling Also known as systematic sampling. A probability sample
selection method in which the sample is obtained by select-
ing every nth individual in the population, where n is an inte-
ger greater than 1. The first member of the sample must be
selected randomly within the first n units.
Standard deviation A measure of the spread or dispersion of a set of data. It is
calculated by taking the square root of the variance. The
more widely the values are spread out, the larger the standard
deviation.
Standard error of the A measure of the amount of sampling error present. The
estimate (SEE) standard error is an estimate of the standard deviation of the
sample mean, based on the sample data.
Stratified sampling A probability sample selection method in which the population
is divided into homogeneous groups (strata) and members
of each strata are sampled, possibly using different sampling
methods.
Systematic sampling See sequential sampling.
Variance A measure of the spread or dispersion of a set of data. It is cal-
culated by summing the square of the difference between
each value and the mean value of the data.

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150 Guidebook for Conducting Airport User Surveys
Surveying Terms
Categorical question A type of closed-ended question that allows respondents to
select one or more predefined responses.
Census Survey of the total population of interest.
Closed-ended question A type of survey question that has a finite set of answers pre-
determined by the researcher from which the respondent
chooses. Easy to standardize and lends itself to statistical
analysis.
Coding The process of converting answers to questions into numer-
ical form (codes) to facilitate compilation of survey statistics.
Computer-aided personal The use of an electronic device programmed with a survey
interviewing questionnaire, including interviewer instructions, to interview
people in person. Interview types to which this technique
applies include on-site intercepts and in-office interviews.
Computer-assisted The use of a computer to support telephone interviews by
telephone interviewing displaying questions and allowing the interviewer to enter
responses.
Electronic data collection An electronic unit, such as a personal digital assistant, that
device can be programmed to display survey questions and allow
responses to those questions to be entered and stored in the
unit. See computer-aided personal interviewing.
Intercept interview A type of interview survey where respondents are approached
(or intercepted) in high-traffic locations.
Internet survey See Web-based survey.
Interviewer A person who collects information from individuals in the
sample by conversing with the individual.
Interviewer bias A type of non-sampling error caused by the interviewer. Errors
may include influencing the respondent in some way, asking
questions in the wrong order, or using different phrasing or
tone of voice than other interviewers, as well as intentional
errors such as fraudulent data entry.
Mail survey A survey methodology in which the questionnaire is distrib-
uted to the target sample by mail.
Multiple-choice question A type of closed-ended question that allows respondents to
select the most appropriate answer from among a set of pos-
sible answers. Good for "profiling" respondents.
Mystery shopper survey A type of survey that anonymously evaluates customer ser-
vice, operations, employee integrity, merchandising, and
product quality of concessions and service providers.
Non-representative sample This type of sample occurs when the characteristics of
respondents in a survey do not match those of the desired
target population.

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Glossary and Acronym List 151
Numerical question A type of closed-ended question that allows respondents to
give a numerical value. Example: What is your current age?
Open-ended question A type of survey question to which there are no predefined
responses. Allows respondents to answer in their own words.
Used in exploratory research.
Pilot survey A small trial run, or "dress rehearsal," of the entire survey
process completed before the actual survey commences. The
intention is to alert the survey team to any difficulties that
were not anticipated at the survey planning stage. Pilot sur-
veys are conducted after pre-tests.
Pre-test A small trial run of questions or the questionnaire to be used
in the survey. The intention is to alert the survey team to
problems with the questions such as confusing wording,
inappropriate responses, additional responses to closed-ended
questions, incorrect flow of questions, inappropriate length
or format of questionnaire, etc.
Respondent A person who is providing responses to a survey.
Response bias Difference in the mean of the characteristics of interest
between survey respondents and the population being
surveyed.
Sample bias This type of bias may result if the sample is limited only to
respondents within a certain demographic group (e.g., highly
educated). If the survey goal is to measure the opinions of
the general population, this could bias the sample.
Self-completed survey A survey in which respondents complete the questionnaire
themselves.
Survey codebook A document prepared by the survey planning team to code
responses to questions in the survey. This document could
be used as an aid in the data entry process or incorporated in
the data entry software.
Survey implementation team Team responsible for conducting the field work, performing
data entry, and validating and cleaning the data.
Survey method Method used to collect the survey data (e.g., intercept or tele-
phone interviews or self-completed questionnaires handed
out or distributed via mail or email).
Survey planning team Team of people responsible for the design, conduct, and
reporting of results. Includes the project manager, survey
technical expert, survey sample design expert, data analyst,
survey logistics manager, and survey administrator.
Surveyor Person who collects information from or about individuals in
the sample by observation or by interview.
Telephone survey A survey methodology in which respondents are interviewed
by telephone. Advantages include broad reach to potential
respondents, and interviewers can ask clarifying questions.

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152 Guidebook for Conducting Airport User Surveys
Web-based survey A survey methodology in which respondents complete a ques-
tionnaire online. Advantages include rapid response rate,
low cost, and increased respondent flexibility. Also called an
Internet survey.
Other Useful Glossaries
Super Survey: http://knowledge-base.supersurvey.com/glossary.htm
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Glossary of Statistical Terms:
http://stats.oecd.org/glossary/
European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research Glossary: www.esomar.org/index.
php/glossary-a.html
Acronyms and Short Forms
AVI Automatic vehicle identification
CATI Computer-assisted telephone interviewing
EDCD Electronic data collection devices
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
MPO Metropolitan planning organization
OAG Official Airline Guide
PDA Personal digital assistant
RFP Request for Proposals
SAS® Statistical Analysis Software, copyright of SAS Institute, Cary, NC
SEE Standard Error of the Estimate
SPSS® A statistical software program, copyright of SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL
TSA Transportation Security Administration