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CHAPTER 1 Introduction 1.1 Purpose of This Guidebook This guidebook has been developed to help airports and survey sponsors plan, design, conduct, and analyze surveys of airport users. It is intended to improve understanding of the issues involved in planning and implementing such surveys and to provide practicable methods and techniques to overcome these issues. The guidebook does not cover observational surveys of the activities of airport users. As requested by the ACRP, the team that developed this guidebook conducted research on the current state of knowledge and practice in performing airport user surveys. The research included a review of the literature, an Internet survey, and detailed interviews with selected airports and agencies regarding their current survey practices. This research and the expertise of the research team are the basis of this guidebook. A summary of the research is provided in Appendix A. The guidebook will be of interest to airport managers, planners, analysts, and consultants. It will provide airport managers with a better understanding of when surveys are required; basic sur- vey concepts and methodologies; and the time and effort required to plan, develop, and imple- ment surveys. Planners and analysts who have little experience with surveys will benefit from the detailed review of the basic concepts and the practical considerations related to specific types of surveys, such as passenger and tenant surveys. It is hoped that the guidebook will prove equally useful to readers who already have experience with surveys, by confirming that their practices have been reasonable and by providing advice and insights to augment their experience. This introduction outlines the following: The role of surveys in airport planning, development, and management. Basic survey concepts, such as target population and survey sampling. The main types of surveys and survey methods. How the guidebook can be used. 1.2 Role of Surveys in Airport Planning, Development, and Management Airport managers and planners require a wide range of information to support their planning activities and decision making. The quality of plans and decisions depends on the quality of the information on which they are based. In particular, in any customer-serving organization, such as an airport, two considerations are critical to effective planning and management: Understanding the market. Understanding the customer. 7