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28 CHAPTER 4 Predicting Public Parking Constraints Several methodologies for predicting when airport public Parking facility utilization data can be analyzed in detail to parking will become constrained are discussed in this chap- obtain information pertaining to the duration, location, and ter. By establishing or improving the predictive tools used to severity of historical constraints, which can then be used to pre- identify when parking constraints are likely to occur, parking dict the duration, location, and severity of future constraints. operations staff will be better prepared to manage the situa- The historical data are most effectively interpreted in the con- tion, and strategies can be implemented prior to and during text of historical enplaned passenger data to develop a relation- the constrained period--whether ongoing or occasional--to ship between airline passenger activity and parking activity. reduce the effects of constrained parking on the airport and No single indicator can be used by all airport operators to its parking customers. predict future constrained parking situations, whether they are Prediction methodologies fall into the following three gen- temporary events or sustained periods of time when parking is eral categories: routinely unavailable to all customers who wish to park. Air- port operators must develop an understanding of the unique Tracking historical parking patterns, demand characteristics for parking at their facilities. Airport Projecting airline passenger activity, and operators must recognize trends or market changes that may Possessing operational experience and knowledge of park- lead to more frequent or more sustained constrained parking ing patterns. periods and proactively adjust strategies used to manage the constrained parking situation at the airport. Airport operators and others conducting analyses on their Several methodologies used by airport operators to predict behalf (such as parking management companies and consul- future constrained parking events are discussed in the remain- tants) often use a combination of all three methodologies to der of this section. Some of the data can be obtained from predict future parking constraints. the parking revenue control system, while the collection of other data requires manual or computer-assisted inventories of parking facilities. In many cases, these manual or computer- Historical Parking Patterns assisted inventories (e.g., daily license plate inventories of parked vehicles) of parking facilities are routinely conducted. Airports often experience public parking constraints because It is important that airport operators identify the data that are of increased activity in certain customer segments, such as the most useful to understanding the constraints at their airports following: and ensure that the needed data are captured and archived for future use and interpretation. Business airline passengers on a specific weekday, such as a Tuesday; Nonbusiness airline passengers during holiday periods, such Monitor Parking Occupancy Data by Facility as Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, and Easter; Parking occupancy data, such as overnight counts by facil- Nonbusiness airline passengers during school vacation peri- ity, can be used as a benchmark to understand trends related ods, such as spring break, summer vacation, or holidays; to constrained parking conditions. For example, an overnight and occupancy count reaching a certain percentage of the facility's Nonbusiness airline passengers on weekends, especially capacity may be a good indicator that the facility will be con- long weekends. strained the next day.