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CHAPTER 5 Air Passenger Surveys A survey of air passengers involves a number of difficult challenges because of the wide range of information that may be required and the limited opportunity to perform the survey, given that the subjects are anxious to catch their flight. Thus air passenger surveys require careful atten- tion to survey methodology and development of an effective sampling plan and questionnaire. Related aspects that are also addressed in this chapter include gathering information on greeters and well-wishers and on the use of ground vehicles for planning airport groundside facilities. 5.1 Purpose of the Survey Much of the information about air passengers that is needed for planning or operational deci- sions cannot be directly observed or is not readily available from statistics that are collected rou- tinely; it can only be obtained by asking the passengers themselves. Surveys of air passengers are the most common type of airport user survey and are performed for a variety of reasons, includ- ing data collection on the following: Air party characteristics for airport terminal planning. Air passenger use of ground transportation for airport groundside15 planning and regional transportation planning. Air travelers' choice of airport in a multi-airport region. Air passenger satisfaction with airport facilities or services. An air passenger survey may be initiated to gather information on a very specific issue, such as the use of different ground transportation modes in order to perform an air quality emissions analysis for environmental impact documentation of an airport project. However, given the cost and effort involved in performing a survey, consideration should be given to whether there are other information needs that can be met at the same time by expanding the scope of the planned survey. Such scope expansion will require a careful tradeoff between the need for the additional information and the potential impact on the cost and complexity of the survey. The information obtained from air passenger surveys is so important to airport planning and management that many airports perform such surveys on a regular basis, such as every year. These surveys often contain the same core set of questions in order to provide a consistent time 15 Also often referred to as landside planning. However, the term landside can also refer to airport terminal facilities, as distinct from airside facilities that handle aircraft. The terms landside and airside are also sometimes used to refer to the areas of the passenger terminal before and after security screening. For these reasons, the term groundside is less ambiguous and is used throughout this guidebook to refer to those areas of the airport used by ground access and egress vehicles, including the ter- minal curbfront, airport roadways, and vehicle parking facilities. 73