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114 The research project concludes that the aviation planning ferent. The research team concluded that a properly defined process could become more user-based and thus more family of airports approach showed that the air passenger accountable. If indeed, the service reliability at a given airport volumes between the Bay Area and the Los Angeles basin reaches a "trigger point," the operating rules could be changed are roughly 5 times the scale of either the NYCBoston or to regain the lost level of reliability. If indeed the service levels NYCWashington, D.C. corridors. The two OD desire-line of HSR, as experienced by the user, provide a superior overall diagrams (Figures 1.3 and 1.4, respectively) document about product for the customer, that customer could be encouraged 10 million intra-area air trips in the East Coast, versus about to select the higher quality good. If indeed, a planning process 20 million in the West. Given that the East Coast study area can understand why a given customer would fail to select ser- has a population that is about 80% larger that of the West vices at an airport serving in a "reliever" function, that planning Coast study area, the West Coast has an overall short-distance process could employ the market research tools of expectation air trip generation rate that is more than 3 times that of the and user preference to form policies to bring about a change East Coast. So the volumes are on the West, but the conges- in those service conditions. If major agencies can learn to tion is on the East. In short, there is no simple formula that organize their most basic planning data in a manner that can suggests that higher amounts of short-distance air travel are be shared with others, a user-based description of demand linearly associated with higher levels of airport congestion. could be assembled, replacing a modally-based format for the The causes of the delay needed to be examined more care- benefit of all. fully, as was done in Chapter 5. Although suggestions range from the macro-scale to the micro-scale, they share the common theme of increasing 6.1.2 Suggestions Concerning Theme No. 1 accountability for actions. While this theme may appear to be new, it is in fact borrowed from a revolution in the manage- The research analyzed the cost of present issues in airport ment practices of the American intermodal freight industry, capacity management in coastal mega-regions. The research whose basic strategy was summarized in the phrase, "We seek team believes that further work in the field of issue definition, to place strategic vision as high as possible in the organization such as was undertaken in Chapter 1 for the mega-regions and accountability as low as possible" (1). only, needs to be undertaken for the larger question of the potential lack of capacity for major hubbing operations. It must be noted that the FACT 2 calculations of the potential 6.1 Concerning Theme No. 1: lack of capacity in 2025 made the simplifying assumption that The Scale of the Problem the selection of transfer airports in 2025 would mirror (exactly) 6.1.1 What was Learned the pattern established in the base data. It is suggested that the highly usable MITRE FATE OD data be examined in a process This research has concluded that, under the present relation- that would allow the location of key hubbing activity to be a ship between the airports and the airlines, there is a serious lack variable for examination, rather than a given. Logically, this of usable aviation capacity in key airports in the mega-regions. should be done before the conclusion that a given hub location The team also concluded that, unless a solution is found for the is, inherently, in need of further capacity. improved management of existing scarce runway capacity, assumptions made throughout the industry about available 2025 capacity in the mega-regions may be invalid. Chapter 1 6.2 Concerning Theme No. 2: built the case that there is a growing problem at key airports in Making the Process Multimodal the mega-regions and that the economic and environmental The research team concluded that to gain the benefit of cost of doing nothing is significant. Under that assumption of capacity provision by other high-quality inter-city transporta- doing nothing, the project estimated the cost of congestion at tion modes, the aviation capacity planning system could ben- the largest airports in the study area in 2025 would range efit from becoming more multimodal. Chapter 2 reviewed the between $9 and $20 billion, depending upon the definitions of extent to which aviation planning is inherently intertwined costs included.36 with the planning and analysis of capacity increases in other The research has documented the scale of intra-region air longer distance modes, specifically HSR and highway planning. travel in the two study areas. The East and West Coast study There are key conclusions from this portion of the research areas have about the same geographic scale, and their longest on two very different levels. First, Section 6.2.1 reviews key air trips within each study area are about the same length. But results and conclusions concerning the potential scale of candi- the study found that the trip-making patterns were very dif- date HSR investment in the East and West Coast Mega-regions. Then, Section 6.2.2 reviews the need to integrate the aviation 36 See Chapter 1 for the range of definitions reported, from both Table 1.4 and capacity planning process with that of other transportation accompanying text. modes for more general transportation planning purposes.

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115 6.2.1 What was Learned team's preliminary analysis of possible decreases in airport boardings ranged from a high of 6% at SAN, to under 1% at The federal government is now committed to an increase in JFK and at EWR. federal participation in HSR projects of at least $8 billion (over Finally, the research shows that the beneficial impacts of and above previous investment commitments). The implica- HSR on airport congestion might not be fully realized unless tions of this federal commitment for the need to undertake they were undertaken as part of a comprehensive multimodal detailed multimodal analysis in such corridors as Boston strategy to optimize the use of capacity in a given corridor. NYC, NYCWashington, D.C., and SFOLAX are immediate Section 2.4 carefully documents the historical experience in in nature, with ramifications for intermodal and multimodal the BostonNYC airports market, where a very significant policy making. lowering of air passenger volume did not lead to a correspon- ding decrease in actual flights. The research summarized in What was Learned: Chapter 2 suggests that a combination of lowering of actual air Intermodal Considerations travel and a well-developed program to optimize the efficiency of the airports as discussed in Chapter 5 will bring about the Given the variety of data sources reviewed in Chapter 2, it objective of lowering congestion and producing the kind of is difficult to firmly quantify the extent to which HSR services 2025 aviation capacity the industry has been assuming. could divert passengers away from congested airports. How- ever, this research helps to give a sense of scale to the dis- cussion. When examined on an aggregate basis, Chapter 2 Suggestions: Intermodal Coordination reported that the forecasting process developed by the MTC While it is generally beyond the scope of this ACRP project, for the California HSR authority predicted that about 10 mil- the research team notes that there are major financial hurdles lion interregional passengers could be diverted to rail away to be overcome before any of the HSR projects referenced from air. About 16% of forecasted interregional HSR trips in this document can become a reality (3).38 Chapter 2 reported were expected to have been diverted from airports. that, although the California bond issue was for less than On the East Coast, a wide variety of sources must be exam- $10 billion, the estimated costs of the full project are closer ined together: a key U.S. DOT study forecast that moderate to $40 billion. The estimated costs for the attainment of the improvements to HSR between Boston and Washington, D.C., half-hour improvement in NEC travel times are estimated at would divert an additional 11% of air passengers in that corri- $13 billion. This research has concluded that the systems dor; with the assumption of European-style HSR travel times, resulting from these total investments would have serious the diversion factor would be about 20% of air volumes. implications for the next years of aviation capacity planning. Chapters 2 and 4 presented what the research team believes Overall, the implications for diverting shorter distance air to be the first summary of the impact of alternative HSR sys- travelers to rail are potentially very positive, but it is the research tem assumptions on airport-to-airport flows and total East team's conclusion that procedures to coordinate investments Coast study area flows.37 That early analysis suggested a total would be beneficial. potential diversion of between 1.5 million (low estimate) to 3.8 million (high estimate) air travelers as a result of system- 6.2.2. Suggestions Concerning Theme No. 2 wide implementation of HSR throughout the East Coast Mega-region. This number could be compared, in theory, What was Learned: The Planning Process with the 11 million air travelers forecast to be diverted in Cal- The research team concluded that an enhanced level of ifornia and Nevada. Chapter 2 noted that much of the "diver- incorporation of alternative long-distance modes in the plan- sion" to rail in key East Coast markets has already occurred, ning process could be beneficial. The general state of data on as documented in Section 3.4, which helps to explain some of which to base policies and judgments concerning the longer the difference in scale between East and West Coast levels of distance trip (i.e., beyond the metropolitan area, or beyond the potential diversion from air. state borders) is in need of improvement. There has been no However, the research concluded in Chapter 4 that the lev- major update of long-distance travel patterns since 1995. In an els of diversion on an airport-specific basis do not support the age when decisionmakers are being asked to allocate $8 billion concept that the provision of HSR in either corridor will make to HSR, and even greater amounts to highways, the absence of the problem of airport congestion disappear. The research a common data source for interstate and interregional trips is of concern. 37 The East Coast analysis examined improvement on both the Northeast Corri- 38 dor itself, and the feeder system to it. This theme is developed in some detail in the recent GAO report (3).

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116 There is at present no publicly owned data set that describes With the commencement and early application of these county-to-county (or even state-to-state) automobile vehicle tools, the research team suggests: trip flows on a multistate basis. In this manner, multimodal analysis capacity is far behind the MITRE FATE forecasts (5), That an intermodal approach to the analysis of long- which have created national county-to-county aviation trip distance trip-making and trip provision be developed. Given flows. As a result, the mode share of airline trips as a portion of the congestion at mega-regions' airports, a unit of capacity total trips is not documented even for the largest, most dominant created on an HSR system need not be seen as a "competi- city-pairs. This poses a challenge even to the best-intentioned tor" to the aviation system, but as a complementary provider analyses of longer distance travel. of services over a full multimodal system. Until very recently, airport forecasting has been focused on That early examples of "Corridors of the Future," such as the an airport-specific approach to demand. The current shift I-95 Corridor Coalition, be reviewed to find ways to help to a county-of-origin to county-of-destination forecasting states who come together on a voluntary basis to improve approach is laudable, but could be widened considerably to their data concerning longer distance trip-making. This accommodate recent policy and funding changes. It could research has made great strides in beginning the develop- become more multimodal in nature, to be merged with sim- ment of true-origin to true-destination aviation trip-making. ilar work from other modes. In many cases, modal agencies, The research team suggests that the initial county-by-county such as Amtrak, use elaborate descriptions of multi-state aviation trip tables for the East Coast Mega-region be inte- travel, but these resources are considered "proprietary"39 and grated with other modal efforts to build a region-wide are not shared with government agencies, which would ben- efit from such sharing. The result is that the quality of debate county-by-county auto vehicle trip table. In short, the team suffers from a lack of good supporting information. believes that the existing Coalition institution would repre- sent a perfect "test bed" in which the cost-effectiveness of creating truly multimodal data needed in the analysis of a Suggestions: Updating the Long-Distance wide variety of longer distance investments and policies Planning Process could be tested. This research has begun the task of creating a set of actual- That the issue of integrating aviation trip flows with other origin to actual-destination trip tables.40 What results from this modal trip flows be undertaken by the relevant entities process is a description of travel by aviation that can be melded in the East and in California. The research team notes that and integrated with descriptions of travel by automobile and the existing statewide trip tables developed by the MTC for descriptions of travel by rail and bus. When these resources are the HSRA could be expanded to serve as a truly statewide assembled together, a trip table could be created that looks very resource. This could encourage and support the transfor- similar in concept to the output of the 1995 ATS. mation of the MTC HSR trip table and model from its This research has assisted in the creation of a workable present coverage of the areas impacted by HSR to a state- combination of the existing airport-of-origin to airport- of-the-art statewide data resource. of-destination DB1B data (2) with other sources, such as That activities be pursued that would make the analysis of NERASP, the FAA New York Region Study, and, when needed, the intricate relationship between air travel patterns and the surveyed results of local airport-based ground access sur- rail travel patterns more immediately available to a wide veys. From those assembled data together, the research team variety of players involved. These players would include has made a first approximation of the actual origins of airline those that are inherently involved. The research team does passengers (e.g., the county in which they started their trip, not not believe that high-quality analytical procedures do not the airport in which they started their flight) to the actual des- exist; the research team believes that they are not available tinations (e.g., the county in which they end the trip, not the to support the public debate. airport at which they land.)41 The research team believes that the lack of data resources and tools concerning the major role of the intercity 39 According to interviews, consulting firms tend to regard their methods as pri- bus industry in trip-making of under 300 miles could be vately owned, and not to be shared with their competitors. improved. Interviews conducted for the research revealed 40 These county-to-county aviation trip tables were used in the analysis of the a uniform belief that the needs and potential of this market areas for underutilized airports presented in Chapter 3. 41 The integration of airport ground access origin with flight destination was pio- industry simply could not be integrated into the public neered in the east coast by NERASP. The geographic scale of that project, how- debate. Whatever research tools are developed could ever, did not allow many trips to be covered in terms of both their origin and make special effort to create analyses that would help to their destination. Geographic coverage goes from the Boston family of airports in the north to the Washington family of airports in the south and covers most better harness the potential of the privately owned inter- air travel with the East Coast Mega-region. city bus industry.