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32 This chapter provides an overview of the typical planning process for APMs at airports. Each component of the APM planning process is described in greater detail in Chapter 8 (APM System Definition and Planning Methodology), Chap- ter 9 (Project Coordination, Justification, and Feasibility), and Appendix A (Theoretical Examples of APM Planning and Implementation). The objective of this chapter is to take the APM system components described in Chapter 4 and place them into the overall planning context. 5.1 General Airport APM Planning Process The planning process for an APM project involves a care- fully documented program, starting with the simple articula- tion of airport needs and ending with a complete project definition that is ready for preliminary design and engineering. Throughout the planning process, it is important to maintain a systems perspective so as to arrive at the optimal APM design. The systems perspective views the APM as being a subsystem of the whole airport system. From this viewpoint, the APM is only a part of the most beneficial solution for the overall air- portâs configuration, functionality, user friendliness, and oper- ational efficiency. There are many different planning approaches that airports can follow, and have followed to date, when considering an APM system. The approach presented here is recommended as a good framework for an airport to consider. The organiza- tional structure of an airport and its historical decision-making approach, its relationship with airlines and other airport ten- ants, and other factors will undoubtedly influence that air- portâs ultimate approach. Two good reference documents that provide the overall airport planning process are the FAAâs advi- sory circulars entitled âThe Airport System Planning Processâ and âAirport Master Plans.â In the United States, the FAA rec- ommends that a master plan be completed and updated at appropriate times. This process ultimately results in an airport layout plan (ALP). It is good practice for airports planning an APM to incorporate an approximate alignment into the ALP. 5.2 Airport APM Planning Process Steps An air travelerâs use of an airport facility requires the move- ment between multiple processes (ticketing, security, aircraft boarding). The movement between process locations may require conveyance assistance to ensure acceptable walk dis- tances and/or movement times. The conveyance requirements at a major airport, whether on the airside or landside of that facility, can vary widely among airports and can vary in terms of distance and time at a single airport. Similarly, airport and airline employees have conveyance needs within the airport as they commute to/from their work. The APM planning process is broken down into six sequen- tial steps, as shown in Figure 5.2-1. There are also various ongoing issues that require the airportâs attention and action throughout the APM planning process. The first and most important step in airport conveyance planning is the establishment of acceptable limits or thresh- olds for walk distances and connection times between process- ing locations. When a walk distance or walk time threshold is exceeded, then the need for passenger conveyance technology is identified. This need becomes the starting point of the plan- ning process (Figure 5.2-1) that may ultimately lead to the implementation of an airport APM. Various passenger conveyance technologies such as mov- ing walks, buses, and APMs all offer different levels of service. Determining the most appropriate technology among these groups is discussed in detail in Chapter 7 of the guidebook. If one or more of the above preliminary indicators suggest that an APM might be justified, further analyses are required to develop, analyze, and compare one or more candidate APM and other potential solutions. In so doing, many planning and feasibility issues must be addressed. C H A P T E R 5 Airport APM Planning Process Overview
Level-of-Service Decision-Making Flow Key: Process Data Output Start/ End Planning Process Decision-Making Flow APM Benefits Alignment Stations Guideway/ROW Capital Costs Operations & Maintenance Costs CostâBenefit Analysis Financial Strategies Power Distribution Command, Control, and Communications Ridership System Capacity NEED System Level of Service Evaluate System Level of Service Evaluate System Level-of-Service Measures Environmental Final Design Procurement Defined APM System Functions Served Service Reqâts. Maintenance Facility Walk & Time Thresholds Source: Lea+Elliott, Inc. Figure 5.2-1. General APM planning process.
A comprehensive APM alternatives analysis is an under- taking that requires extensive experience to complete prop- erly. As a consequence, airports typically solicit the assistance of experienced professionals who have the requisite expertise. It is important that airport staff, planners, and other consul- tants understand the nature of what is involved in order to direct and coordinate the APM investigations with other air- port planning work properly. The general steps involved in a transport technology plan- ning effort are summarized below. Step 1: Identify needâThis is the process by which passen- ger conveyance needs to/from airport passenger activity centers that cannot be adequately accommodated by walking are identified and quantified. Quantification typ- ically takes the form of wait time, connect time, and/or walk distance requirements and thresholds. Step 2: Technology assessment: develop alternatives and analyze operationsâThe passenger activity generators identified in step 1 will help determine station loca- tions. To connect the station locations, alternative routes/ alignments are developed and analyzed with respect to operations. This can be done using a single or a variety of different technologies. The analysis of operations will help in sizing the fleet to meet the demand ridership between stations and in providing a system capacity (pas- sengers per hour). Step 3: Determine facilities requirementsâThe fleet size determined in step 2 allows the related APM facilitiesâ requirements for power, maintenance, train control, guideway and its right-of-way (ROW), and stations to be developed. Step 4: Determine costsâWith the alignment, fleet, and related facilities now sized, the high-level capital and O&M costs of the APM system can be estimated. The level of service (trip times, service frequency) can also be double-checked against relevant passenger conveyance thresholds from step 1. Step 5: Perform justification analysisâThe costs devel- oped in step 4 are then compared against the benefits of the system to determine if the APM is justified. Benefits can vary greatly in type between airside APMs and land- side APMs but in either case should be monetized for this analysis. This analysis of costs and benefits is an internal airport analysis and is not to be confused with the stan- dard FAA costâbenefit analysis. Step 6: Determine affordability and other impactsâThe final planning step determines if the resulting APM sys- tem is affordable to the airport. Other final checks of envi- ronmental impacts, feasibility, and constructability (first performed during preliminary planning in step 3) are also performed in this final step. If all these checks come up positive, then the APM system enters final design and implementation (procurement). It is essential to conduct APM planning in concert with the airportâs overall planning process because the APM physically connects (and affects) other major airport facilities. These steps apply whether it is a multimodal (e.g., APM and bus) analysis or one that is focused on APMs only. In the multimodal analy- sis, the alternatives developed in step 2 are technology/ route combinations. In an APM-only analysis, the alternatives are different alignments and possibly self-propelled versus cable-propelled technologies. In addition to the above sequential planning steps, there are ongoing issues to be dealt with throughout the planning process. These are shown along the bottom of Figure 5.2-1 and include environmental considerations, construction feasi- bility, impacts to other airport facilities, required permits and approvals, and airport coordination with affected agencies. During alternatives development (in step 2), it is important to consider the historical perspective of prior APM implemen- tations, their successes, and failures. The lessons learned from experience can help develop and refine the number of alterna- tives. Similarly, knowledge of the current APM industry can help ensure that the alternatives developed are ones on which multiple, experienced APM suppliers with service-proven tech- nologies can compete. Upon completion of the above steps, it is recommended that the results be combined into a system definition report that will serve to document the analysis process. Each of the above APM planning steps is described in greater detail in Chapter 8 and Appendix A, especially step 1 through step 4. Some of the more general (non-APM) analyses per- formed toward the end of the APM planning process, such as costâbenefit analysis, funding, and environmental impacts, are described in greater detail in Chapter 9. 34