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7 CHAPTER 2 Research Approach Project Description their prevailing practice regarding use of LOS standards in facility development (including which, if any, standards they As previously stated, the objectives of this research were to used), and their willingness to participate in a data collection develop passenger space allocation and LOS guidelines for ter- study. This was accomplished through an online survey. Of minal functional areas and a holistic metric for a passenger's the 162 airports that were sent the survey, approximately 20% overall airport experience. responded. Of those responding, 65% said they were familiar Our research premise is that by combining the results of the with LOS standards (most frequently referencing IATA stan- quantitative and qualitative data collection presented herein, dards) and used them to plan various elements of their facil- we can reach some conclusions regarding factors that affect ities. However, only about 30% of respondents believed that passenger perception of LOS in the airport environment and a new, universal North American LOS standard would be a then use those to determine guidelines for building airports in major improvement. the future and redesigning existing infrastructure. Impact of Passenger Differences Study Design on Passenger Perceptions of Service Initial Approach The initial project approach was for data to be collected in airport passenger processing areas at 10 (later adjusted to seven) The TransSolutions team's approach was to develop a data North American airports, to quantify objective measures of collection methodology that used both quantitative and qual- passenger service (processing and wait time, number of pas- itative approaches. TransSolutions was primarily responsible sengers in queue, square feet per passenger, and so forth), for the quantitative data collection and used methodologies and to assess passenger perceptions regarding LOS. that included time stamp, observation, and passenger intercept An important aspect of the study's data collection plan surveys to quantify measures of passenger service--including design was to select airports that would allow characteriza- wait time, number of passengers in queue, and number of tion of many of the diverse passenger characteristics and air- square feet per passenger. At the same time that quantitative port facility characteristics that aviation stakeholders speculate data were collected, TransSolutions also asked passengers affect passenger perceptions and hence potential differences in their perception of the LOS they were experiencing. the types of airport facilities they desire. Additionally, data Strategic Insight Group (SIG) expanded on the qualita- were to be collected at airports that use different airport design tive aspects of data collection by using ethnographic data paradigms. The data were analyzed to determine whether such collection techniques in the form of passenger intercept sur- differences were significant relative to passenger perceptions. veys that explored the passengers' impressions (using open- Table 1 shows candidate airports that would provide a valid ended questions) as well as by observing passenger behavior. cross section of data to indicate the types of expected passenger One of the team's challenges was to develop a data collection characteristics to be explored in our selection of study airports. methodology that complemented the efforts of each team Airports indicated in bold were those chosen for this research member and secured findings that could be correlated between project. the two endeavors. To develop a data collection methodology that would One of the first project activities was to survey all com- accomplish the study objectives, a team workshop was held mercial service airports to assess their views regarding LOS, to develop the airport survey instrument and perform other