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4 WORKSHOP CONCLUSIONS The demand for air travel is continuing to grow. New air- craft are being developed. There is little reason to expect~that the construction, renovation, and expansion of airport passenger terminals around the country will stop. While there is a risk that individual terminals could be choked by their own growth, it appears that current designs can be modified to meet future demands. These modified designs may grow into very large ter- minal buildings. Airport designers~and operators must learn how to make these modifications efficiently if the nation's air transportation system is to continue to f unction ef fectively. Workshop participants affirmed that there is a need for research to develop information, operating technologies, and management tools to deal with the problems of tomorrow's very large airport passenger terminals. Current airport terminals work well in most cases, but there is ample room for improvement. There is uncertainty about the performance that will be expected of very large terminal build- ings. Research and cooperative action are needed to equip the owners, operators, users, and designers of these buildings with the tools they need to meet future challenges. The workshop participants asserted that the industry can certainly afford to make the effort. What is needed most is the will to do so. Participants called for a permanent forum to bring together the diverse groups interested in passenger-terminal buildings. Such a forum would not necessarily involve expanded govern- ment programs or new institutions. Indeed, the workshop was seen by participants as a demonstration of the value and feasibility of such a forum, possibly continuing under the auspices of the National Research Council. The participants called upon the community of airport operators, airlines, and government to support the continuation and expansion of this forum. 23
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Table 4-1 summarizes the specific needs for research and action discussed by the workshop participants. Participants recognized that other needs and opportunities exist in a range of policy and technical areas. The forum should undertake an effort to broaden and define more clearly the scope and priorities of these needs and opportunities for passenger terminal building research. Airport passenger terminals have grown to be complex func- tional systems and monuments to modern technology and commu- nity pride. When it works well, the terminal Is an et ~ accent element of the local economy and the national transportation network. When it works badly, the terminal becomes a purgatory for its users and a disruption well beyond its boundaries. With commercial air travel in its second half-century, the future airport passenger terminal will be more than ever a vital link in one of the nation's most vital systems. This link must be kept strong as the nation builds and expands its future airport passenger terminals.~9 - ~" ~ . ~ ~ . . . 19 These assertions by workshop participants are the basis for a continuing effort by the Building Research Board and the Transportation Research Board to motivate research and action. 24
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TABLE 4-1 Summary of Needs for Information, Operating Technologies, and Management Tools 1. 3. 4 A. 6. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. Systematic definition and measurement of factors mak- ing up a "good" airport terminal from the passengers' perspective Modification of model and local building codes to recognize the special requirements of airport passenger terminals Interactive passenger information systems to enhance "wayfinding" and to reduce the stress of terminal usage Development of mechanical systems or building design features that permit terminal circulation patterns and space allocations to be changed easily in response to changes in airline use or new technology Development of safe and economical accelerating mov- ing walkway technologies Development of lower-cost peoplemover system tech- nologies Resolution of safety issues related to the movement and parking of aircraft above or beneath passenger holding areas Development of safe and economical aircraft servicing procedures that minimize turnaround and gate occu- pancy times Development of compact and reliable high-volume baggage security screening devices Development of optical and robotic devices to facilitate the decentralized processing of transfer baggage Development of compact and economical goods delivery and waste-removal systems Development of institutional mechanisms for control of tort liability related to new mechanical systems Establishment of a permanent multiinterest forum for information gathering, research, and design review of passenger-terminal buildings Establishment of a mechanism for an objective multi- disciplinary design audit as an advisory service to com- munities undertaking major terminal development projects Development of uniform criteria for judging terminal building performance in environmental reviews NOTE: This list 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. 25
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