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35 Chapter 5 provided an overview of the six steps involved in airport APM planning. This chapter goes into greater detail on step 1 (identify needâsee Figure 6-1). Chapter 7 goes into greater detail on step 2 (technology assessment: alternatives and operations), in which transport systems are developed to meet the identified conveyance need. Airports are where people transition between land-based transport and air-based transport. Within the confines of the airport, airline passengers have to travel various distances to accomplish their transition between land transport and air transport. Similarly, airport employees travel varying dis- tances as they access the airport to reach their place of employ- ment. As airline traffic has grown through the years, airports have grown in both physical size and in their passenger pro- cessing capacity. Though a portion of passenger and employee movements can be accomplished through unassisted walking, for larger airports, passenger conveyance technologies are required due to excessive distance and/or excessive passenger volumes moving in a constrained area. When distances or passenger volumes require conveyance assistance, three basic technologies are typically considered: moving walks, APMs, or buses. APM is a category of trans- portation group encompassing very small vehicles (PRTs) to very large transit vehicles/trains. These conveyance technolo- gies are further described in Chapter 7: Matching Needs with Passenger Conveyance Technologies. 6.1 Passenger Conveyance Need The first step in the conveyance planning process is the identification of passenger movements that need conveyance assistance and warrant the initiation of formal planning stud- ies of conveyance technologies. This step involves a specific assessment of current or future (particularly for an airport expansion) operational and physical conditions that could be improved or issues that could be resolved if a new passenger conveyance system were to be implemented within the air- port. The justification for a passenger conveyance system can usually be resolving an airport access need, an airport cir- culation need, or a passenger movement and processing problem. The research produced from ACRP Project 03-14, âAirport Passenger Conveyance System Usage/Throughput,â should be a useful reference on this topic. Airport issues and needs that have typically justified APM systems almost always involve the elements of distance and/ or time, often in the context of physically separated facilities, which in turn directly affect the airport usersâ perceptions of the overall level of service offered by the airport. The following are examples of airport conveyance needs that justify the analysis of passenger conveyance technologies including APMs: 6.1.1 Connection of Widely Separated Facilities Wide separation of airside facilities is frequently required to service the large numbers and size of aircraft operating at major airports. On the landside, a wide separation of airport facilities is often created by the increased size of parking facil- ities, the relocation and consolidation of rental car facilities, or the location of bus or regional rail intermodal centers. This separation of facilities is a major factor driving the current design of new airports and airport expansions and the need for a high-capacity, high-quality, high-reliability (availability and trip time reliability) passenger conveyance option between the facilities. Some new airport configuration concepts involve a physical separation of landside passenger processing facilities from air- side processing facilities (aircraft gates and concourses). Also, many existing airports have constrained land space, with suit- able expansion space being available only in remote locations on the airport property. C H A P T E R 6 Needs Identification and Assessment
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 6-1. General APM planning process.
6.1.2 Excessive Walking Distances for Passengers The separation or expansion of airport terminal facilities often creates conditions where walking distances are greater than most airport passengers can easily negotiate. [Com- monly, and according to International Air Transport Associa- tion (IATA) standards, this would be judged to be a distance of greater than 1,000 feet.] Many passengers are elderly and/or infirm, and most air passengers carry hand baggage. It is, there- fore, becoming increasingly unrealistic to require passengers to negotiate long distances through airport facilities without con- veyance systems. 6.1.3 Excessive Passenger In-Airport Travel Times Travel times within airports are critically important to con- necting passengers in large hub airports and increasingly important to O/D passengers due to unpredictable delays experienced in the check-in and security screening process. Hubbing airlines must be sure that connecting (online trans- fer) passengers move quickly from deplaning to enplaning gates within a specified time since the entire flight schedule is built around the time needed by passengers to make their con- nections. Airport operators want to ensure that their airport meets the expectations of O/D passengers so that they can complete their travel to/from their gate within reasonable times. To meet such expectations and operating requirements, passenger conveyance systems are often a necessity. 6.1.4 Segregation of Passengers Current airport security has resulted in the mandated sepa- ration of some categories of passengers. These requirements vary for different sizes and types of airports. In some cases the resulting conditions can justify an APM or other passenger conveyance system to assist in the management and processing of the different passenger/airport user classifications. Common classifications of airline passengers/airport users that may require separation are: â¢ Secure and non-secure, â¢ International and domestic, â¢ Enplaning international and deplaning international, â¢ Sterile (unprocessed international arrivals) and non-sterile, â¢ Visitors (meeters and well-wishers), and â¢ Employees. 6.1.5 Improving Frequency, Capacity, and Quality of Passenger Service To select the best mode, service issues such as waiting times, trip times, and capacities must also be considered. Because they are automatically operated, APMs can often provide headways below two minutes (if required), whereas buses are opera- tionally constrained to much longer headways. (Buses can typ- ically achieve very low headways if multiple bus berths are available; such an operation will have relatively high labor costs.) Studies have shown that passengers regard waiting time as much more onerous than travel time. Thus short headways (frequent departures/short wait times) are perceived by pas- sengers as providing a much higher level of service. Short head- ways also translate into higher passenger-carrying capacity (for a given conveyance unit size), an attribute that is extremely beneficial in todayâs high-volume airports. APMs can also pro- vide passengersâ seamless connections between activity centers, a climate-controlled environment without exposure to the elements, and boarding and alighting the vehicle without ver- tical steps. 6.1.6 Reduction of Operating Expenses Life-cycle costs are heavily affected by operating and main- tenance expenses, especially at airports with long hours of ser- vice. Frequently, the life-cycle cost of an existing conveyance service such as buses can be greater than those of a totally new, automated system. When considering both capital costs and operating expenses over the life of a project, the benefits of lower annual operating expenses could provide justification for an APM system. 6.1.7 Passenger Safety or Security In some circumstances, concerns about passenger safety or security could justify consideration of a landside APM system. A safe, secure form of passenger screening at remote sites (rental car facility, parking, intermodal transit station) served by APMs can increase the safety of the terminal environment, even if the screenings consist only of passive observation and random checks. Full check-in or bag claim is usually not pro- vided at remote sites served by an APM, so passengers take all their baggage on the APM. 6.1.8 Serving Multiple Functions For landside systems especially, an APM that serves multi- ple functions (activity centers) such as car rental, passenger and/or employee parking, regional rail, and so on is more eas- ily justified than a system serving just one function. A multi- function system will be supported by more groups within the airport organization and potentially outside the airport in the case of serving a regional rail facility. The first step in a passenger conveyance decision-making framework is to examine the various justifications, some of which are sampled above. Usually, a cursory examination will indicate if one or more is applicable. If so, then more detailed 37
planning and evaluation of various conveyance technologies (moving walk, bus, APM) is warranted. 6.2 Establish System Requirements Several basic system requirements must be established at the outset of any APM investigation. It is important to note that an APM investigation is typically undertaken in response to the overall airport planning vision, and that a desire to build an APM does not drive the overall airport planning process. The basic APM system requirements are discussed below. 6.2.1 Functional Requirements Defining the functional conveyance requirements for the APM is typically the very first step in the investigation. It defines the purpose of the system and answers the basic ques- tion: Do we need an APM? The principal functions of APM systems at airports are typically: â¢ Inter-terminal connectionsâMany APMs are designed exclusively for transporting riders between multiple termi- nals at an airport. â¢ Terminal-to-gate connectionsâSuch systems are designed to connect terminal passenger processing areas to aircraft gates, which are often located in separated satellites, con- courses, or piers. â¢ Intra-terminal connectionsâConveyance systems may also serve the purpose of transporting air passengers and airline/airport employees between different areas of the same terminal or satellite facility. â¢ Airport access connectionsâThese systems are designed to transport passengers between the airport terminal(s) and an access location of some kindâa rail station, a bus terminal, off-airport parking, or other passenger gather- ing point. â¢ Landside connectionsâLandside conveyance applications typically connect the terminal facilities with other on-airport landside functions such as car rental and passenger/employee remote parking. â¢ Commercial developmentâA landside conveyance appli- cation can also provide connections to office buildings, hotels, convention centers, and other commercial build- ings located on airport property or property adjacent to the airport. 6.2.2 Desired Service Locations Once the conveyance systemâs functions are determined, the next step is to identify the different airport elements (or ser- vice points) that require interconnection. Service may be required at points such as the main terminal(s), terminal piers, satellite concourses or terminals, parking areas, rental car facil- ities, and off-airport access locations (bus or rail terminals). 6.2.3 Physical Constraints Defining physical constraints is a basic aspect of the plan- ning process. For example, if the system alignment must travel from one side of a runway to the other, then it must either go around the end of the runway or beneath it. Physical con- straints can dictate the guideway alignment, station and main- tenance facility locations, and such factors as the maximum size of the allowable ROW for the system, the maximum radius of horizontal or vertical curvature, or in the case of a below- grade system, the minimum depth of the envelope below the runway surface. When establishing a conveyance systemâs service locations and the route(s) to connect them, consideration must be given to spaces available for the systemâs maintenance and storage facility. 6.2.4 Pedestrian Requirements All alternatives will have pedestrian components. Airport requirements involving pedestrian movement must be defined at the outset of the work. Pedestrian requirements may include: â¢ Walking distance limitations, â¢ Population mobility, â¢ Disabled and elderly provisions, â¢ Baggage carried, â¢ Baggage carts (and whether they will be allowed on the trains), and â¢ Level change limitations. 6.2.5 Level-of-Service Criteria Criteria must be established for the level of passenger ser- vice that is desired. Primary criteria that will define the level of service experienced by passengers include: â¢ Maximum allowable connecting time for passengers, â¢ Maximum time passengers have to wait for a train, â¢ Seating provisions on the conveyance, â¢ Ease of locating system and navigating its use, â¢ Passenger comfort and convenience, and â¢ Overall passenger trip experience. Other criteria may be applicable or desirable for specific air- port conveyance applications. Some of the above level-of- service criteria can be expressed quantitatively, and this should be done where possible. Others are more qualitative, but they 38
should also be identified and used in the subsequent evalua- tions and assessments. 6.2.6 Types and Characteristics of System Riders All potential conveyance system riders must be identified. Typical airport riders include: â¢ International passengers, including arriving, departing, and transfer; â¢ Domestic passengers, including arriving, departing, and transfer; â¢ Airline flight crews; â¢ Airport and airline employees; and â¢ Visitors, including meeters/greeters, well-wishers, and others. It is important that the characteristics of all riders be defined, including the baggage they carry and the need for separation from other types of passengers. Although requirements differ for each airport, it is often necessary to consider maintaining separation between the following classes of passengers: â¢ International and domestic, â¢ Arriving and departing, â¢ Sterile and non-sterile, â¢ Secure and non-secure, â¢ Originating and terminating/transfer, and â¢ Employee and non-employee. 6.2.7 Allowable Environmental Impacts Environmental impacts of proposed conveyance improve- ments are very important in airport settings. Requirements should be established for acceptable noise, air pollution, water quality, roadway traffic, and other impacts. In general, APMs will be a considerable improvement over any roadway-based form of transportation. Concerns or standards regarding visual impacts and aesthetics should also be defined. 6.2.8 Safety and Security Requirements The aviation industryâs focus on safety and security man- dates that such considerations be included in the require- ments and evaluation of any new airport system. This is especially true with APMs, where the system will be operated without an attendant on board the trains. Whether the APM is located airside (beyond security screening) or landside (before security screening) also makes considerable difference in the safety/security concerns that need to be addressed. In particu- lar, requirements related to terrorist threats and fire need to be developed, including provisions for emergency evacuation of passengers from the conveyance system in times of danger. 6.2.9 Budgetary Constraints Airport budget(s) for the project must be included as a project requirement since monetary constraints can affect subsequent decisions and choices in the development and comparison of alternatives of the overall terminal configura- tion and design as well as potential conveyance system(s). Upon completion of the above tasks, it is recommended that the results be combined into a system requirements report that will serve as the basis for developing and evaluating all candi- date alternative solutions. 6.3 Develop and Analyze Alternatives Once the system requirements are established, it is neces- sary to move on to step 2 of the APM planning process chart (Figure 6-1) and develop and analyze candidate alternative solutions. An increasingly popular technique for the develop- ment of alternatives is to conduct a workshop involving a vari- ety of people from various airport departments and consultant teams. The first phase of the workshop is to brainstorm the options for the conveyance system, with a record kept of the various ideas produced during the workshop. Then the rough concepts developed through the workshop are studied further by an assigned study team. Once the concepts are assessed for their intrinsic strengths and weaknesses, they are refined and developed into specific project alternatives to be studied in sig- nificant detail. Alternatives may be different APM alignments, or the con- veyance technology may be varied. The next chapter describes the typical conveyance technologies considered by major air- ports. Regardless of the technologies involved, it is critical that the range of alternatives be wide enough that all viable options are initially considered. An all-inclusive alternatives analysis helps prevent others from asking at the end of the APM plan- ning process: âYes, but did you consider . . . ?â 39