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117 The research team located an impressive amount of analyt- HSR. The evaluation of these options should take account of ical work documenting the potential for rail to substitute for the need to generate passenger acceptance and public support. air travel, particularly from the EU. Concerning the poten- The research team concludes that system planning is partic- tial role of rail to complement air travel (e.g., as a feeder mode ularly useful when it provides insight into traveler needs and to longer distance flights), the research team found a pro- preferences. This information is useful for a host of manage- found dearth of analytical work. The research team suggests ment purposes in addition to development decisions. Indica- that research at a high level would help better understand the tors of the level of service that passengers experience at major possible role of the two modes working together. airports are particularly useful. Eventually, the team expects that information about passenger level of service will be a 6.3 Concerning Theme No. 3: major factor in the decision-making process, because it can Making the Process illustrate the difference between passenger expectations and Multijurisdictional their experiences. Passengers are most interested in avoiding long and unpredicted air traffic delays that can lead to flight 6.3.1 What was Learned cancellations, missed connections, and disrupted travel plans. This research has concluded that to gain better use of exist- Performance measures can be used to track both average and ing underutilized capacity at smaller airports in the region, the severe delays and help in the development of multi-airport aviation capacity planning system could benefit from becom- regional strategies. ing more multijurisdictional. Chapter 3 reviewed how the cre- ation of a unified, coordinated multi-airport planning process 6.3.2 Suggestions Concerning Theme No. 3 (NERASP) was associated with the creation of a more rational "family of airports" for the Boston region. The chapter showed An expanded version of system planning could be made how a regional analysis (rather than an airport-based analysis) available throughout the congested mega-regions on the can support the study of the potential of lesser scale regional East and West coasts. Chapter 3 noted that the FAA has airports to provide additional capacity to the systems of the two been willing to expand the scope of system planning in a mega-regions, provided that the operating carriers decided to number of specific cases to address the distribution of travel take advantage of their presence. The chapter examined the demand among airports and to other modes. This has been importance of gathering and analyzing data on a multi-airport, done in NERASP, which helped to identify unused capac- super-regional basis and provided examples of how such new ity at secondary airports that could be used to relieve con- regional aviation planning tools could be used. gestion at BOS. Similarly, the MTC RASP is now underway The research concluded that certain issues are best addressed in the Bay area, involving the cooperation of several major at a multi-airport level, which may or may not correspond with airports and looking into alternatives to meet the long-term the geographic coverage of MPOs. For example, the geographic travel demand, including the potential role of HSR passen- scope of the MPO in the Bay Area effectively reflects the service ger service. area of three major, important airports; an MPO covering the The general indicators of airport congestion are similar from northern New Jersey portion of the NYC metro area would not one city to another, but the underlying details and options be the logical location to better define the competitive roles of for improvement vary greatly. As a result, it is not suggested EWR and Stewart Airport. Thus, this research does not con- that much effort be spent on standardized guidance for clude that existing MPOs automatically represent the best locus regional airport system planning. Instead, it is suggested that for multijurisdictional aviation planning. But the pioneering studies be tailored to specific regional requirements, giving work of NERASP demonstrates that some form of institution wide discretion to local leadership and initiative. can be created that shifts the focus of transportation planning To support these efforts, applied research should be contin- away from sole reliance on the individual airport, to a focus ued on the question of "airport choice" by the traveler with on the needs of a set of customers who really do have a choice multiple airports to choose from. The NERASP data, for of airports to patronize. example, provide much of the basic information required A key conclusion of this research is that enhanced metro- to truly improve the research team's understanding of just politan (or supra-metropolitan) airport system planning could when an air traveler would divert to a smaller airport, and be helpful in addressing airport congestion issues in regions when she/he would not. This existing path of research that include major metropolitan areas. There are a variety of should be supported, as it is critical to making these multi- remedial measures available, from more efficient use of exist- airport planning processes truly meaningful. The research ing runways to expanded use of secondary airports and the team believes the raw data are already in place to support shifting of some trips to surface transportation, particularly improvements in these methods.