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OCR for page 8
8 Guidebook for Evaluating Airport Parking Strategies and Supporting Technologies Hourly, daily, or monthly number of transactions by facility or parking category; and Available spaces by parking product (e.g., during a construction project that will cause a temporary loss or displacement of spaces). Customer service Customer complaints by number of exits or by time period; Customer satisfaction measures, such as the use of mystery parkers; Customer delays at entry or exit during peak periods (or frequency of delays exceeding a specified goal); and Average processing time or distribution of processing times at the entry or exit plazas. Payment methods Non-revenue exits by facility; Percent of exits paid by credit card, using pay-on-foot stations, using access cards, or using other payment methods; Percent of unpaid and/or exception transactions; and Use of validations. Operations and operating costs Personnel (or staff hours) per 1,000 transactions and Expenses as a percentage of gross revenues. Planning and marketing Parking spaces per resident O&D passenger; Airport's share of the parking customer market; Share of passengers choosing to park versus those being picked up and dropped off; and Number of occurrences when the demand exceeds the available spaces (e.g., a facility is closed) and when overflow or holiday parking facilities are used. The airport operator may also wish to compare (benchmark) its metrics with those of other airports with similar characteristics, with the metrics of privately operated off-airport parking facilities, or the metrics of non-airport parking facilities or programs. The metrics should be developed to allow for fair comparisons, considering the metrics developed for the private facil- ities or programs of interest, and the frequency with which they are updated. Benchmarking As applied to airport parking, benchmarking is the process of comparing the fees, number of spaces, types of products and services, revenues, operational practices, and other aspects of an airport's parking operations with those at other airports. Benchmarking helps airport operators understand how their parking operations rank or compare in relation to a particular indicator or metric. Benchmarking can also be used when seeking the approval of senior management by increasing management's awareness of the operations and facilities at other "peer" airports. The metrics used for such comparisons (e.g., parking rates or spaces) are usually simpler than those described in the previous paragraphs. Benchmarking analyses are most commonly conducted by comparing an airport with its peer airports. Typically, peer airports are selected considering the following: Passenger volume. Airport management frequently compares its airport with airports of sim- ilar size. Ideally, size is defined in terms of the number of annual O&D airline passengers, since these passengers are the customers for parking products. Since most medium- or small-hub airports serve few connecting passengers, comparable airports can be identified using the num- ber of enplaned or deplaned passengers. Many large-hub airports, however, serve as hubs for a major airline and therefore have a large number of connecting passengers. When identifying

OCR for page 8
Documenting the Goals of Airport Management 9 comparable airports for purposes of benchmarking parking statistics, connecting passenger numbers should not be considered. The number of annual enplaned passengers is readily available from such sources as (1) Air- ports Council InternationalNorth America and (2) the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Compliance Activity Tracking System (CATS) 400 database (see Report 127 at for passenger and revenue data. A good source for originating and terminating airline passenger volumes is the U.S. Department of Transportation's Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Proximity. Airport operators (and their governing boards or commissions) frequently com- pare their operations with those of nearby airports, particularly those of a similar size. Nearby airports are likely to have customers with similar costs of living and price sensitivities and to experience similar weather conditions influencing passenger preferences for covered parking and operating costs (e.g., costs for snow removal). Airlines. The operators of airports, particularly those serving as connecting hubs, often com- pare their airports with other airports that have the same dominant airline (e.g., Minneapolis- St. Paul International and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County airports, both of which serve as hubs for Delta Air Lines). Extent of privately operated off-airport parking. Airports in areas where there is little, if any, off-airport parking will require more parking spaces and thereby generate more revenues per passenger and in total than comparatively sized airports in areas where there are many off- airport parking spaces. Passenger demographics. Selecting airports that accommodate passengers with a similar mix of trip purpose and place of residence may be helpful. For example, airports serving destina- tion resorts and comparatively few local residents who park for long durations (e.g., Honolulu, Las Vegas' McCarran, and Orlando International Airports) will have different parking char- acteristics than airports serving a high proportion of local resident business travelers (e.g., LaGuardia, Mineta San Jose International, and Reagan Washington National Airports). The operators of airports serving comparatively few local residents may be reluctant to increase parking rates that would affect local residents, preferring to generate revenues from services offered to non-residents. Use of public transportation. The parking characteristics of airports with high passenger use of public transit (i.e., more than 10%) will differ from the parking characteristics of airports with lower passenger use of public transit. Some other factors to consider when conducting a parking-related benchmarking analysis include the following: Definition of the product. The type of product defined as short-duration parking or economy parking varies from airport to airport. When conducting a benchmarking analysis of parking rates by product, it is necessary to confirm that similar products are being compared. Local taxes. Some states and municipalities tax the airport parking fees paid by customers. The parking rates published by most airports include the costs of such taxes, while the rates pub- lished by many privately operated parking facilities exclude taxes. When gathering reported parking revenues from airports, it is necessary to determine whether the reported gross revenues include taxes collected. Airline agreements. At airports with "residual" agreements, higher parking revenues are transferred to the airlines in the form of lower airline rates and charges, which result in no net gain to the airport enterprise, except the positive aspect of lower airline costs. At airports with "compensatory" agreements, typically parking revenues are not transferred to the airlines. Therefore, the extent of the benefits resulting from increased parking revenues may vary depending on the type and specifics of the airport operator's agreement with the airlines.