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Analysis and Implementation Considerations 27 2. Airport Issues and Opportunities. At most airport locations, wheelchair services typically are provided by the supporting airline. Terminal cleaning services generally are provided by airport operators, except for airline hub operations, where hub airlines maintain a lump sum cleaning and maintenance agreement for major locations. Airside Operations This section addresses Airside Operations applications and issues that should be considered when evaluating common use. Airline concerns and opportunities are noted first, followed by concerns and opportunities drawn from the experience of airport operators. Figure 3-6 illustrates the airport area of impact, which includes the following primary opera- tional items: · Owning and Assigning Common-Use Gates · Providing Ramp Control Services · Owning and Maintaining the Passenger Boarding Bridges · Owning and Maintaining the Inbound Baggage Handling Area · Owning and Maintaining the Outbound Baggage Handling Area · Providing Ramp and Ground Handling Services · Providing Common-Use Ramps for Cargo Operations Note: Detailed information on each of these operational areas can be found in Appendix B4. Figure 3-6. Airside operation space.
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28 Reference Guide on Understanding Common Use at Airports For each airport area discussed in this section, the issues and opportunities to be considered by airport operators are grouped as follows: 1. Airline Business Issues and Opportunities 2. Airline Operational Issues and Opportunities 3. Airline Facilities Issues and Opportunities 4. Airport Performance Issues and Opportunities 5. Airport Physical Considerations Issues and Opportunities 6. Staffing Considerations Issues and Opportunities 7. Accessibility Considerations Issues and Opportunities Owning and Assigning Common-Use Gates Description When considering common use, airport operators generally start at the gate. For airport operators, this area generally has the greatest effect on business. The options, however, for how to implement common use and how much to implement, are as varied as there are air- ports. Consideration of the concerns and opportunities presented in this section, along with the tools provided further in this Guide, will help airport operators make informed decisions about whether common use at the gates is appropriate and, if so, how to best plan for successful installations. Issues to Consider 1. Airline Business Issues and Opportunities. Airlines noted several business reasons why common-use gates may be an advantage. Many of the reasons are the obvious result of proper planning and implementation of the business issues and opportunities noted here in this sec- tion. These include · Adding real value to the airport operator and airlines · Providing airlines with the functionality they need and airport operators with the flexibil- ity they need · Maximizing utilization of gate positions and lowering overall airline facility costs · Paying per turn for gate usage, when an airline is in need of only a few slots per day · Accommodating the temporary need of an airline · Accommodating new entrant airlines, seeking limited gate use and minimal capital costs · Providing International gate operations Airlines typically are against common-use installation where the airport operator's instal- lation opposes the airline business process. Airlines do not see the benefit of imposing com- mon use if the particular airline maximizes the gate capacity. Airlines should have a financial reason to move to common use. The airline provides gate capacity to generate a revenue stream. Some airlines prefer that airport operators not get involved with airline affairs in terms of the use of gate and sublease opportunities. 2. Airline Operational Issues and Opportunities. It is generally regarded by airlines that the best potential facility candidates for common-use systems include baggage claim, gates, and stand-alone kiosks. These, if properly planned for, can be successful. The size of air- port operation is not the primary factor. Airlines oppose operating from a common-use gate because, typically, this operation is not "common" to the other airport locations they operate from. Airport operators should properly plan for the gate reallocation methodol- ogy and coordinate with the airlines. Airlines expressed a need for airport operators to define the airport's use of Remain Over-Nights (RONs ) properly when working in com- mon use. Airlines expressed concerns that airline operations must not be affected by air- port outages of any kind. There are several operational reasons why common-use gates may be an advantage.
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Analysis and Implementation Considerations 29 3. Airline Facilities Issues and Opportunities. Airlines noted the following: · Concerns regarding the consistency of the assignment of gates and operating space. · That the airport operator should provide space, but not dictate how the space is used, given that airlines typically design the gate setup to board passengers as it best seems to fit them. · Common-use space can sometimes be space-constrained. · Common baggage sort and baggage screening areas can tend to be space-constrained. · Airport operators should work with the airlines in planning for common-use spaces. · A need to coordinate storage space requirements, especially in gate and ticket counter areas. · When common use is planned and implemented appropriately, it can provide a proper level of facility flexibility. 4. Airport Performance Issues and Opportunities. The following items were addressed by air- port operators with regard to applying common use in the airside gate area: · Set the culture, goals and vision, directed from the Airport executive level, down. Define the business case by involving Airport Operations, Business/Finance, Technology, and Facilities. · Define gate management responsibilities. · Establish appropriate means and methods for managing the normal scheduling of gates. · Define gate occupancy times and criteria for compliance. · Define rules for scheduling of gates and for resolving gate conflicts. · Define rules for scheduling of gates during irregular operations. Establish clear rules regarding the scheduling of which airlines get preference during peak or irregular operations. · Define rules for RON and remote parking. 5. Airport Physical Considerations Issues and Opportunities. Issues and opportunities related to the physical considerations of the airside gates are discussed in detail in Ramp Control Ser- vices in this chapter. 6. Staffing Considerations Issues and Opportunities. The management of common use gates introduces activities, and thus staff, not normally found in daily operations of airports oper- ating without common use. Airport operators noted that the following staff positions should be considered: · Gate Manager/Planner. · Airline Liaison. · Airline Interface to the airport operator. 7. Accessibility Considerations Issues and Opportunities. Accessibility issues related to com- mon use gate management are discussed in detail in Providing Ramp Control Services and in the Terminal Operations Section of this Guide. Providing Ramp Control Services Description When considering common-use and gate operations, the airport operator generally assumes the ramp control services for the common-use gates. Some airport operators have assumed full ramp control services for all gates, common use or not. Although, this may be a growing trend for airports of all sizes, any one of the following three models can be seen at airports: · Airline provides the services through airline employees or through contracted services · Airport control through contracted services · Airport control through airport employees Ramp controllers coordinate and control departure and arrival operations of aircraft within the ramp area and ensure that aircraft are serviced and loaded. Consideration of the concerns and opportunities presented in this section, along with the tools provided further
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30 Reference Guide on Understanding Common Use at Airports in this Reference Guide document will help airport operators make informed decisions regarding ramp control services within common-use operations. Issues to Consider Related issues are presented in Owning and Assigning Common-Use Gates. 1. Airline Business Issues and Opportunities. Some airlines noted that if done properly, the airport operator can provide Ramp Control Services more cost effectively than can the airline. Airlines typically are against common-use installation where the airport operator opposes the airline business process. Airlines expressed concern in the handling of labor contracts when the airport operator provides some of the ramp control services. At best, this can be confusing in a common-use environment. 2. Airline Operational Issues and Opportunities. Some airlines think it best for the airport operator not to get involved with airline operations in the ramp control area. Some airlines expressed that the ability to dictate risk should be with the airline. Airlines expressed concern regarding the level of trained and experienced staff an airport operator may provide to per- form ramp control services. Airlines noted that airport operators should properly plan for, and coordinate with the airlines the gate reallocation methodology. This issue is discussed in detail in Owning and Assigning Common-Use Gates. Airlines expressed concern that airline operations must not be affected by airport outages of any kind. When airport operators provide ramp control and ground handling services, airlines expressed concern about which airlines would get scheduling preference during peak or irregular operations. Airport operators that elect to participate in these services will ultimately need to choose between airlines and the resulting winners and losers from a customer per- spective. How these decisions will be made should be defined and followed in agreement with the airline partners. 3. Airline Facilities Issues and Opportunities. Airlines noted that · Airport operators sometimes schedule flights in gate areas not suitable for their aircraft. · When common use is planned and implemented appropriately, it can provide a proper level of facility flexibility. Generally speaking, some gates controlled by the airport opera- tor and available for overflow, etc. 4. Airport Performance Issues and Opportunities. The following performance related issues and opportunities were addressed by airport operators with regard to providing ramp con- trol services to common-use gates. Related issues regarding gate assignments can be found in Owning and Assigning Common-Use Gates. · Define the information sharing, communication, and coordination requirements between all stakeholders involved with ramp control · Manage gate operations at each gate · Control gate use based on the operational characteristics of each gate · Establish consistent gate striping requirements · Consider passenger boarding bridge issues · Manage and control the baggage sortation pier assignment and criteria · Establish and maintain an effective training program 5. Airport Physical Considerations Issues and Opportunities. In general, physical consid- erations issues and opportunities, with regard to ramp control, have been discussed throughout this section. Regarding the overall layout of the airport, airport operators noted the following: · Ramp control depends highly on the ability to monitor the gate areas visually. · The location and number of ramp control towers must be considered to ensure effective monitoring of the common-use gates and off-gate parking areas. Some airport operators have thus invested capital for the construction of new tower locations.
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Analysis and Implementation Considerations 31 · Consideration should also be given to the overall concourse design layout. Some airport operators noted that linear designs are far easier to monitor than X designs. In addition, X designs tend to cause blockages. 6. Staffing Considerations Issues and Opportunities. Airlines and airport operators noted the need to select ramp control managers and operators already trained and experienced in ramp control. Airport operators noted consideration must be given to the hours of operation. Care- ful consideration must also be given to labor requirements when staffing these hours and coordinating work requirements with airline ramp control personnel. Airport operators noted that the following staff positions should be considered: · Ramp Tower Manager · Ramp Controller · Ramp Managers 7. Accessibility Considerations Issues and Opportunities. Airport operators noted the need to consider accessibility issues for service contractors. The primary accessibility issue is with the operations of passenger boarding bridges. Providing Ramp and Ground Handling Services Description The airport operator assumes some level of control and/or ownership of ground handling ser- vices. These services may include · Air starter and ground power units · Baggage handling · Catering handling · Cleaning · De-icing · Lavatory service · Liaison with fuel suppliers · Push back and towing · Steps and air bridge service · Water service These services may be provided through various means. Airlines can provide service either through their employee base or through a third party, exclusive of airport involvement. Airport operators can control the number of ground handling companies and the bidding process for airlines to select from. Airport operators can mandate ground handling services through one company or through airport-provided services. Issues to Consider 1. Airline Issues and Opportunities. Typically, airlines prefer to either use their own staff or control outsourced handlers. When it comes to ramp control services, the airlines maintain that there is a material safety issue in providing services in and around the aircraft. One air- line noted that for above-the-wing services, it always employs in-house staff. Even when the airline outsources the services, any given airline holds their handlers to a service level that can- not be subject to another carriers operation. 2. Airport Issues and Opportunities. Frequently, it is the smaller airports that are looking into airport-provided ground handling services. Smaller airports also claim certain advantages for airlines when the airport operator provides the ground handling services. For airports considering providing ground handling services, electing not to pursue common-use ground handling services provided opportunities to consider how to help manage the services provided.