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3 BALANCING NEEDS IN THE FUTURE AIRPORT TERMINAL The workshop participants agreed that all of the various problems cited in their discussions are likely to be encountered in the planning, design, and management of any large airport passenger terminal, but that the relative significance of these problems depends on the unique character of each individual airport and terminal building. The specific location, local air travel market, airlines, existing facilities, and institutional and political arrangements--within the context of the national and international air transport systems--shape the passenger terminal. There is no single best design. Nevertheless, the participants also agreed that the same key issues must be addressed at any airport, if the passenger terminal is to be a fully effective element of the air transportation system. Many of these issues were raised in workshop discussions and are summarized in six broad categories in Table 3-1. New informa- tion, operating technologies, or management tools will be required for the resolution of these issues. Having identified the key issues that must be faced in devel- oping future airport passenger terminals, the participants formed three groups to discuss how these issues might ideally be resolved. Each group discussed these issues from one of three points of view: passengers, airlines, airport operators. Each of these groups might be expected to have rather different perspectives on what the ideal future terminal building would be, but these perspec- tives highlight the common needs for information, operating technologies, and management tools. PASSENGER'S PERSPECTIVE While the passenger terminal continues to evolve, the essential needs of air passengers remain the same: reasonable 15

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. TABLE 3-1 Issues Faced in the Development of Future Passenger Terminals Major Issues Factors to Consider Definition of the future market Issues and opportunities for demand management Implications of growth of very large terminals Concerns for passenger security Integration of support and service systems Globalization of air transport system The United States as a foreign tourist destination Aging of domestic population Coordination of high-speed ground transport and air routes in multiairport systems Pricing of space, goods, and services Marking and design of direction flow ("wayfinding") Location and sizing of passenger services and amenities Evolving multiuse facilities Accommodation of aircraft geometry Apron space, building contact Role and place of concession Auto parking and ground access Flexibility and multistage development Baggage handling Deliveries for concessions and airline catering Access by airline and airport personnel Access by visitors and greeters Space requirements for all utility systems Distribution of supplies Baggage system and space for it Waste removal Peoplemovers and walkways as aids or barriers 16

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TABLE 3-1 Cont'd New planning and design process needs Fueling systems systems , cargo handling Fiscal planning and management Early involvement of key interests Glamour and function Mediation of private roles of users and public process of planning NOTE: This list of issues is based on workshop discussions and is not intended to establish priorities or to be a complete or balanced portrayal of all policy and technical issues. walking distances, fast and efficient processing, adequate space, physical conveniences, and readily available and understandable information to help negotiate departures, arrivals, and transfers. These essential needs should be reflected in an underlying simi- larity of passenger terminals, even though the demands of speci- fic markets and airline practices shape each unique building. Passenger surveys and professional opinions seem to agree that the best terminals share some of the following features: peoplemovers or other systems to aid mobility as an integral part of the terminal design; pleasant environment for people, including good visual and acoustical features, extensive and intelligent use of art and landscaping, and a strong "sense of place"; logical and apparent circulation patterns, reinforced by clear and consistent graphics and information systems; o sensitive accommodation of groups that may have particular needs, such as elderly people, people traveling with infants or small children, and handicapped people; accessible concessions offering an appropriate variety of services, goods, and prices; and o good and reliable information on flight schedules and airline and flight boarding locations. Workshop participants asserted that greater attention should be given to defining those similarities that seem to make a 17

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. successful terminal, formulating better guidelines for these aspects of the terminal, and developing lower-cost systems that can improve the performance of the terminal. Better analytical tools should be developed to assess terminal building perfor- mance. Model and local building codes should not treat airport terminals as auditoriums or other public use facilities; rather, they should address the particular life safety and health concerns of an airport. Interactive passenger information systems could be developed, including more extensive training of airline and air- port personnel to provide customer service and information. Low-speed, low-cost transportation systems such as accelerating walkways and cable-driven peoplemovers can be perfected for airport applications. High-volume baggage inspection and handling equipment is needed, as are improved systems for delivery and waste removal for food and beverage concessions. Participants suggested that an institutional mechanism is needed to provide balanced advice to airport operators and terminal designers for improving the performance of passenger- terminal facilities. Existing organizations bring together interests ot airlines or airport operators; but there is no ongoing forum for the interests of these groups and those of passengers, concessionaires, equipment manufacturers, and other concerned groups to address the issues that arise in regard to the terminal building.~5 Such a forum could not only help to motivate general improvements in planning, design, and management but could provide an objective third-party review of plans for terminal building development at individual airports. The advice of such a review could give passengers and concessionaires a stronger voice in the terminal building design process and help communi- ties gain the highest possible return on their airport terminal investment. i5 The Industry Working Group (IWO) and International Industry Working Group (IIWG), sponsored by the Air Transport Association of America (ATA), International Air Transport Association (IATA), Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), and Air- port Operators Council International (AOCI) address a variety of technical matters associated with air transportation. |6 Workshop participants envisioned a nonbinding critique or "design audit" that would assist designers and airport owners. 18

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AIRLINE'S PERSPECTIVE There is little reason to expect a significant change in the deregulated free-market environment in which airport authorities and airlines now operate. While different airlines may adjust their services to capture particular markets, the efficient use of aircraft will continue to be their primary interest. Future ter- minal buildings should contribute to reducing aircraft turn- around time, and the industry can afford to invest in making improvements. With current designs, the minimum turnaround time requires that parked aircraft have direct contact with the terminal building. Baggage-handling systems may become less centralized, particularly at airports with large numbers of flights that serve a route hub. Advanced robotic devices might support their sort- ing of transfer baggage at gate areas. Workshop participants suggested that a means to increase berth turnover rates and thereby reduce the needs for passenger holdrooms and apron-building frontage would be to service air- craft at remote apron locations and pull them up to the passenger terminal for passenger boarding. However, concerns for passen- ger security and the opportunities to expand concession services may combine to expand the need for terminal building space. Efficient use of the entire volume of space enclosed in the terminal will become increasingly important, warranting more construction below the ground level and on levels above the principal passenger concourse. Safety concerns currently are the basis for restricting the use of space above or below active aprons and taxiways. Workshop participants considering the airlines' perspective noted that the best airports, in terms of their contribution to the community, are those that have been developed and operated with an effective partnership between airlines and operators. While airlines are generally satisfied with current operating and decision-making procedures that influence terminal building de- signs, the pressures of competition have greatly diminished the use of the "tech committees as a means for airlines, airport operators, concessionaires, equipment manufacturers and other interested groups to discuss the future of a particular airport. Participants proposed that some forum is needed to foster the i7 Prior to deregulation, representatives of airlines serving an airport could freely discuss operations and strategy with one another without fear of giving competitive advantage or violat- ing antitrust regulations. 19

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cooperation and joint action needed to solve problems of common concern. Workshop participants also noted airlines' renewed interest in developing terminal buildings that use bold architecture and advanced functional systems to support or strengthen the airline's positive public image. Such designs may represent a notable increase in capital cost for the terminal, but this cost typically has a much smaller impact on the airline's overall operating ex- penses, particularly at large centers of airline activity. Bold architectural statements are thus more likely to be made at the largest airports, but only to the extent that airlines perceive that their profitability allows them to make the extra incremental investment that is required. OPERATOR'S PERSPECTIVE Workshop participants discussing the operator's perspective focused on the evolution of the terminal building to meet chang- ing airline needs and emphasized the need for modularity or other design features that give the operator flexibility to adapt to these changes. While greater mechanization is likely in systems for baggage and passenger transfer and aircraft servicing and support, care should be taken to avoid the use of technologies that may have limited lifetimes that would lock the terminal into an inefficient physical configuration or the failure to provide adequate space for future expansion and reconfiguration of facilities. The need for flexibility is not limited to the physical aspects of a terminal. Impediments to terminal development include im- portant but time-consuming environmental and community plan reviews and the lack of uniform criteria for judging the per- formance of terminal buildings. Concerns about legal liability for equipment malfunctions hinder the development of new tech- nologies for terminal buildings. Research and development are particularly needed to reduce the size and to improve the per- formance of equipment for security screening of baggage and other materials entering the terminal building area. Broader market research would help to define terminal building performance requirements. Better planning and design coordination among operators, airlines, concessionaires, equip- ment suppliers, and designers would help to ensure that these requirements are met. All interested groups should seek to avoid ~8 The United Airlines terminal at Chicago~s O'Hare Inter- national Airport was cited as a recent example of such a design. 20

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the adversarial relationship that frequently occurs in current terminal building planning and design. The workshop participants noted that new basic design con- cepts for future passenger terminals may be proposed, but that passenger boarding through loading bridges from the terminal building is likely to continue as the preferred mode of operation. Airline data systems will similarly continue to be the basis for providing information to passengers. New concepts, if they are developed, are more likely to evolve from experience at many airports than to emerge as a single revolutionary change at any one location. 21

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