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32 CHAPTER 4 Conclusions and Recommendations for Further Research Conclusions based on empirical research findings. In the absence of fur- ther research, we suggest continued use of the LOS C space Relationship Between Passenger Perception allocations recommended by the IATA Airport Development of LOS and Area Reference Manual (1), with the following caveats: The results of the data collection and analysis did not iden- tify a relationship between passengers' perceptions of LOS All necessary airport terminal processors should be present and the amount of space that was available to them for any in the design and sized to produce a balanced flow. airport function studied. There are two important aspects of There should be convenient, adjacent, or nearby places for this finding: passengers to wait when congestion in one particular area produces excessive density, since the study observed that pas- 1. The data did not indicate a turning point for any airport sengers self-regulate their comfort by waiting in other areas. function studied where the average perception becomes Passenger demand used to size the space to the LOS C unacceptable for passengers based on the amount of avail- standard should be based on the end of the planning or able space around them. This may be because there were design horizon. Thus airport owners and business part- not many times during our data collection period when ners should understand that the initial space on opening passengers felt they had to compromise their personal day will result in a better LOS and that passenger growth space due to congestion. Perhaps one reason for this is that over the design life of the facility may result in the facility the facilities were generally well designed to handle the de- degrading to LOS C. sign demand. Another reason may be that passengers avoid situations where overcrowding may occur and either wait The study team's reasoning for proposing this space- in adjacent or nearby areas or choose to engage in other planning and design standard is as follows: activities (such as shopping or dining). 2. It is clear that higher levels of area per passenger do not The prevailing practice at North American airports for enhance passenger perception of any functional area. There many years has been to develop facilities to provide at least are many instances where in the same location, with the IATA LOS C. This study indicates that passengers are same area per passenger, some passengers perceived the LOS largely satisfied with the space available to them at the air- to be high while others perceived the LOS to be low. This re- ports studied. Additionally, the prevalent use of the LOS C sult implies that something other than area per passenger design criteria appears to be financially acceptable to proj- is driving the perception. Additionally, this result indicates ect sponsors. that intentionally increasing the size of the functional area in The IATA LOS C space guidelines and the LOS C space the hope of attaining higher levels of passenger satisfaction guidelines proposed by John Fruin (2) are approximately will not achieve that result. equivalent when accounting for the presence or absence of checked baggage at various airport processors. Dr. Fruin's Since a turning point for perception due to area afforded research on pedestrian queuing behavior was extensive and each passenger could not be found during our data collection, has served as a sound basis for planning and design for the study team cannot propose a space-planning guideline many years.

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33 Relationship Between Passenger Perception parameters associated with aircraft type or capacity as well as of LOS and Time differences in load factor or processing requirements based on government policy (in the case of domestic versus inter- The data collection and analysis did show a relationship national passengers) associated with different air service pas- between the amount of waiting/processing time a passenger senger types. The study team attributes this lack of difference experiences and his or her perception of LOS. Waiting time in passenger perceptions of LOS to the fact that passengers are appears to have a negative effect for processes where passen- likely to use all of these types of air service, and their percep- gers wait in queue for a limited number of processors, such as tion of LOS is inherent rather than a function of the carrier staffed agent check-in and bag claim. Although the data did they are using. not indicate a graduated decline in passengers' perceptions of LOS associated with wait time, we were able to determine TPs for several of these airport functions where the average per- Ethnographic Findings Related ception becomes unacceptable. Due to the nature of this to Passengers' Perception of LOS data collection (finite data collection resources coupled with The ethnographic findings of the data collection study are facilities/operations that performed reasonably well even some of the most significant. The results of the ethnographic during peak travel periods), the study did not delineate TPs study support the conclusions of the quantitative data collec- for every airport function studied. tion. However, the qualitative analysis identified other factors For the four areas where the study team did identify turn- wholly unrelated to time or space that may have a significant ing points in wait-time data (i.e., when passenger perception impact on passenger perception or even be the key to their changed from acceptable to unacceptable), passenger tolerance dynamic or holistic perception of the entire process. Cer- was surprisingly high relative to typical planning and design tainly, many of these factors are controlled by individual air- criteria. This finding may be the result of inherent bias in the lines or government agencies, and some of these factors could passenger intercept survey technique--fairly tolerant people be influenced by the airport during the design process. Many are the ones willing to participate in surveys. Therefore, rela- of these factors are not considered explicitly or early in the plan- tively longer wait times are required to exceed the limits of their ning and design process or are left for tenants or concessionaires patience. to achieve as part of their development responsibility. The study data indicate that achieving higher levels of passenger percep- tion of LOS requires that the airport planning and design Differences in Passenger Perceptions process have more influence over these factors. of LOS Associated with Air Service A key finding of the ethnographic data collection is that in Market Differences order to reduce passengers' stress and thus increase their per- Airport planners are frequently asked about potential dif- ceptions of LOS, it is important that they feel they are in control ferences in passengers' expectations regarding LOS that of the success of their journey. For example, the finding that might be associated with the type of air service they are using. passengers' perceptions of LOS are associated with wait time is Study data were analyzed to identify differences between an expression of this concern about the success of their journey legacy carrier and low-cost carrier passengers, business and (and unfortunately, sometimes beyond the control of the air- leisure passengers, and international and domestic passen- port planner or owner). However, examples of airport planning gers. Generally, there were few differences identified. The and design matters that affect the passengers' perception of con- study data indicated no significant difference between percep- trol include tions of LOS between business and leisure passengers. There were significantly different and slightly lower perception ratings Intuitive wayfinding: This includes not only a well-designed from international passengers in the SSCP and the holdroom and -implemented signage system, but more importantly, areas. Low-cost carrier passengers had significantly different design that supports clear passenger sight lines through the and slightly lower perceptions of the curbside check-in and bag- successive steps in their journey, from landside to airside and gage claim areas, while they had significantly different and vice versa. Sight lines must be considered early in the design slightly higher perceptions of the holdroom area. stage if it is a goal to achieve unobstructed views through each The study team further proposes that no special airport de- successive terminal processor. Providing these clear sight velopment design considerations related to space or wait time lines may affect facility development cost, so it is important be contemplated, based on an assumption that the LOS per- to develop design criteria that weight such intuitively obvi- ceptions of passengers categorized by their type of air service ous wayfinding heavily. are inherently different. The data simply do not support such Short walk distances or quick travel times: Passengers need initiatives. Certainly there are objective differences in sizing to trust that they have enough time to travel from landside