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63 planners with a view of the market-driven issues that airlines sion, the research team has applied the results of new meth- consider when planning service and routes. Importantly, this ods of data organization and data presentation developed approach holds potential for enabling aviation managers to for this study, based on the county-to-county database strike a better balance between meeting customer needs and assembled. This section summarizes what was learned operational desires. Finally, the organization of basic travel about three airports in close proximity to the highly con- flow data in this manner will allow later integration with the gested PHL. dominant work describing highway and rail travel. In this exercise, the research team developed "natural geo- To enable such an approach to become the norm, rather graphic market areas" that illustrate the theoretical market than a periodic undertaking stemming from convenience potential of presently underused smaller airports in the greater associated with a particular one-time study, standards and Philadelphia region. By way of example, Figure 3.7 shows the protocols for data collection, management, and reporting counties in which Allentown, Trenton, and Philadelphia rep- could be developed. Unless "true" OD data on airport pas- resent the closest airports measured only by highway travel sengers are collected in a standardized way and on an appro- times. Such definitions will allow the analysis of air travel- priate geographic scale (as pioneered in NERASP), the ers in the region in terms of both their demographics and usefulness of such data for improving mega-region scale air- their airline trips. Each of the three airports is examined in port planning will be minimal. However, by collecting data terms of their air-trip destination, and the airport they use regularly and at the appropriate geographic level, airports at present in the charts and tables is presented in the follow- within the mega-regions could jointly assess their capacity-- ing section. individually and collectively--and plan for more efficient and customer-focused allocation of operations. Such multi- jurisdictional airport planning that seeks to share and take Lehigh Valley International Airport advantage of regional data is a critical element of improving As Figure 3.8 shows, only 23% of those passengers for overall air system capacity in the coastal mega-regions and whom Lehigh Valley International (Allentown/Bethlehem/ nationally. Easton, PA) Airport is the closest airport select the local option. Most use EWR, PHL, LGA, or JFK. More than 3.5 Underused Airports in the East 400,000 passengers per year fly to the Southeast (i.e., the Coast Mega-region: Examples Florida area). Of these travelers, about two thirds select a dif- ferent airport. There are more than twice as many passengers As a pilot project, the research team first created a flying to this region than to the next most popular region, the county-to-county trip table to support the analysis of flows Upper Midwest. affecting key airports in California. On a more ambitious In short, more than 75% of the population for whom scale, the team has developed a multi-state county-to- county trip table of aviation trip-making in the East Coast Lehigh Valley International is the "closest" airport do Mega-region using data from the NERASP study and other not use it, choosing instead to travel to adjacent, congested sources. The following sections include a series of charts and airports. trip tables developed through application of the county-to- county database that depict the air passenger OD patterns Atlantic City International Airport for seven airports in the East Coast Mega-region. These analyses could provide support to larger, more comprehen- Figure 3.9 shows that almost half of the flights for travelers sive studies to determining if smaller, under-capacity airports in the Atlantic City area originate at Atlantic City Interna- could take flights to common destinations away from large tional. When flying to the U.S. Southeast, almost 75% of the over-capacity hubs, potentially facilitating improvements in flights originate from this airport. By contrast, travelers pri- on-time performance, ground access congestion, and pas- marily use PHL when flying to other destinations in the senger choice. United States. Those flying internationally travel either to EWR or JFK rather than use Atlantic City International or PHL. Thus, the addition of flights to new southeastern desti- 3.5.1 Applying County-to-County Trip Tables nations would be unlikely to help the current conditions at in the East Coast Mega-region: Atlantic City International, as almost all passengers use this Delaware River Valley airport when traveling to the Southeast, which garners a dis- To lay the foundations for a contribution to the full-scale proportionate amount of destinations. study of the potential of underused airports to be under- In contrast with the pattern seen at other local airports in taken by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commis- the study area, a surprisingly high number of air travelers in

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64 Figure 3.7. "Natural geographic market" areas for Allentown, Trenton, and Philadelphia airports. the natural market area do choose to fly out of this relatively shows that the airport captures a healthy share of trips to the small airport. Southeast--some 63%. Of the 254,000 air trips taken in 2007 to the U.S. Upper Midwest by passengers whose closest airport 3.5.2 Application of the Tools to Other is Islip, about 47% flew from LGA. Similarly, of 32,000 air trips Underused Airports: NYC Area to New England, about 73% also flew from LGA. In short, about 55% of the natural geographic market "leaks" These tools to create quick summary descriptions of the out of the area to the larger airports that offer more direct serv- travel patterns of those who might logically benefit from ices to more locations. That Long Island-Macarthur Airport using a smaller, closer airport can now be applied to virtually captures the remaining 45%, however, reflects the strong attrac- any airport in the project study areas. Because much of this tion of the services of Southwest Airlines. information was included (and was pioneered by) the NERASP project, airports in New England have not been included in Stewart Airport this chapter, with the exception of New Haven, CT, which is now shown in the context of NYC airports. The researchers Figure 3.11 shows, quite dramatically, that although 57% have merged NERASP data with similar, but different, data of travelers in the Newburgh/Poughkeepsie area flying to the collected in the NYC region to develop these unique market Southeast begin their trips from Stewart Airport, the airport description summaries of smaller airports relevant to the New otherwise captures barely one third of its natural geographic York capacity debate. market. JFK is the primary airport used when flying to an international destination or to California; LGA is used when Long Island-Macarthur Airport flying to Mid-Atlantic and New England destinations and to Alaska or Canada. Long Island-Macarthur Airport (Islip, NY) provides another In short, about two thirds of those for whom Stewart would example of the potential benefits of approaching airport plan- be the closest local airport are attracted to the greater range of ning and operations from a regional perspective. Figure 3.10 air services in the adjacent, larger airports.

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65 Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton, PA: Lehigh Valley International 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 Other LaGuardia JFK 100,000 Lehigh Valley Philadelphia Newark Liberty 0 Southeast US Upper Midwest Transatlantic Lower Middle West Southern California South-Central America Northwest Zone New England Transpacific Alaska/Canada NY/NJ/PA Mid-Atlantic Northern California EWR PHL Lehigh Valley JFK LGA Destination Zone (%) (%) Intl. (%) (%) (%) Southeast U.S. 28 28 34 5 2 Upper Midwest 25 34 34 3 4 Transatlantic 52 13 1 33 0 Lower Midwest 35 36 21 5 3 Southern California 34 30 18 16 1 South-Central America 44 23 4 28 1 Northern California 33 29 19 18 1 Northwest Zone 35 30 23 9 1 New England 14 64 11 7 3 Transpacific 42 15 11 31 1 AlaskaCanada 35 23 30 7 5 NY, NJ, PA 14 52 9 23 2 Mid-Atlantic 26 22 17 18 14 Grand Total 33 29 23 12 2 Figure 3.8. Present airport of departure for Lehigh Valley International natural market area, by trip destination. Westchester County Airport In short, of those travelers for whom Westchester County would be the closest local airport, about 85% of them choose As Figure 3.12 shows, of the few trips in the White Plains to go to adjacent, larger airports. area that originate from the Westchester County Airport, most are for flights going to the Southeast and Midwest. Passengers traveling to California and overseas prefer JFK. In general, air- Tweed-New Haven Regional Airport port destinations which require some transfer/hubbing could be served by connections from White Plains, while destinations Tweed-New Haven Regional Airport, in New Haven, CT, with direct service from competing local airports will be harder exemplifies an underused airport situated in the core of a to attract market share. geographic area that generates millions of air passenger trips.