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4 Reference Guide on Understanding Common Use at Airports · Common-Use Systems are airport-operator-provided hardware and software systems that pro- vide an interface through which airline-proprietary systems can operate with increased facility utilization and flexibility. The aviation industry has seen dramatic changes in the past two decades with significant growth during the 1990s; a significant industry disruptive event on September 11, 2001; and an economic decline resulting in (1) a sharp rise in fuel prices that has substantially changed the economics of airline operations and (2) a decline in growth. During this period, airlines have adapted to the changes in various ways, many of which have resulted in adaptability issues for airport operators raising the question of "is there a better way" to be more flexible and respon- sive to airline service changes in good times and bad times. From an airline perspective, cost reduction since September 11 has been a prominent focus. From an airport operator perspec- tive, adapting to and accommodating changing flight services by incumbent carriers as well as new entrant services was a key focus. In recent years, offering more cost-effective solutions to retain or encourage new services in the face of service reductions has become a key focus. Airport operator interests in common-use approaches have been heightened by the potential for achiev- ing a reasonable balance of airline and airport operator interests. The implications of transition- ing from the traditional model (of airline facility use and leasing focused on dedicated facilities) to common use has elicited varying and, often, conflicting perceptions of benefit and cost. Reference Guide Overview There were many ways to sort, format, and present the data in this Reference Guide. This Guide was written primarily for airport and airline executives in charge of making decisions about common-use solutions at airports. Readers will come from diverse backgrounds having a wide range of experiences in their own functional areas of expertise. The main purposes of this Guide are to · Identify common-use issues and opportunities; and · Assist in and guide the decision-making process of potential common-use implementation efforts. To address these goals, this Guide has two major parts: the main text and an appendix section. Keeping the target audience in mind, the main text, that is, Chapters 2 through 5, is brief, providing analysis highlights in an abridged format. The detailed analysis, which contains crucial information for decisionmakers, is provided in the appendix section because of length. References in the main text guide readers to the appropriate detailed analysis. This approach was selected so that readers interested in particular areas can find such sections quickly without having to read discussions that are not of interest. The remaining chapters of this Guide cover the following: · Chapter 2 focuses on how common use is applied throughout the aviation industry and sheds light on common-use implementations in other industries. · Chapter 3 presents analysis and implementation considerations associated with common use. · Chapter 4 discusses cost-benefit issues and considerations associated with common use and provides tools for guiding an airport operator through the initial steps of assessing the value that a common-use solution can provide to an airport. · Chapter 5 provides a roadmap to common-use installations, if the airport operator decides to pursue common use. The Reference Guide is accompanied by a Virtual Airport on CD-ROM (and available as an ISO image on the TRB website) to make the material easily applicable and useful to such a large
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Common Use at Airports 5 audience. The research team determined that enabling readers to travel through an airport virtually, and thereby enable them to access relevant research material for any given area of the airport, would help readers focus on information of interest to them personally. Readers can run this tour on a computer, using a standard web browser, and travel through the airport and see the various areas of an airport and how common use could be applied. At each step, the virtual tour will allow readers to select from a list of pertinent information about that area of the airport and will pull up related information. Figures 1-1 and 1-2 are early renderings of scenes from within the virtual tour. Figure 1-1 shows a generic airport terminal. Figure 1-2 presents a collage of Common-Use Self-Service (CUSS) kiosks from different perspectives. The Reference Guide is structured so that airport operators and airlines wishing to pursue common use can consider doing so in a building-block approach. Such an approach allows airport operators and airlines to implement common-use initiatives in a logical order. This logical order will support smaller implementation projects, which will build on one another to reach the final common-use goal for the specific circumstances that an airport operator or airline may be in. Figure 1-1. Generic airport terminal.
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6 Reference Guide on Understanding Common Use at Airports Figure 1-2. CUSS kiosks collage.