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Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Estimating Truck Trip Generation for Airport Air Cargo Activity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24848.
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Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Estimating Truck Trip Generation for Airport Air Cargo Activity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24848.
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Summary Truck trip generation associated with air cargo facilities and activities is an under-researched issue in the traffic engineering and transportation planning arena. Except for a handful of highly localized efforts to forecast air cargo-truck movements across the country, little empirical research exists on the volume and nature of truck trips associated with existing and new air cargo facilities, both airside and landside. In addition, the complexity of the modern air cargo industry makes it difficult to obtain the data necessary to develop truck trip generation rates. Access to such information could help a community plan and invest appropriately by accounting for air cargo’s impacts; similarly, air cargo operators and airport officials could employ such data to help ensure cargo facility truck access and egress remains reliable and safe. The existing literature and research regarding air cargo facility-related truck trip generation rates are limited in scope and detail. In addition, considering the rapid pace of change in the air cargo industry, many such documents are significantly dated. There are also important differences of per- spective and opinion on approaches and methodologies for obtaining data and developing estimates of truck trips across the literature, with no one benchmark by which to assess the validity of these competing ideas. The major air cargo airports and air cargo planning officials interviewed for this study gen- erally confirmed the absence of readily available and reliable truck trip generation data for air cargo facilities. However, no airport suggested that obtaining and applying such data is a prior- ity because it is unusual for studies of air cargo truck traffic at its facilities to be requested or required. There is limited airport experience to compile validating that developing truck trip gen- eration rates would facilitate improvements in air cargo facilities. This is probably because pas- senger traffic is typically the principal priority and focus at major airports. One exception to this pattern is Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), where local legislation requires the airport annually to develop and publish counts of air cargo truck traffic for one busy day in the year (as part of the mandated annual airport traffic generation reports). These counts are for Los Angeles International Airport-Specific Plan, the principal mechanism by which LAX Master Plan Projects are implemented. The only truck trip modeling initiative related to air cargo that was identified nationwide—the Southern California Association of Governments’ (SCAG) Heavy-duty Truck Model (HDT)—generates estimates of air cargo truck trips based on the output of another model, the Regional Airport Demand Allocation Model (RADAM), which converts air cargo tonnage to truck trips using proprietary factors developed as part of RADAM. Air cargo company officials stated that their firms are willing to (and do) share certain truck trip data to support trip generation rate development. However, the firms are generally able to share such data only in a highly aggregated form for a specific facility to maintain their competitive positions, comply with anti-trust rules, and abide by customer data confidentiality agreements. For example, a firm may be able to provide overall truck volumes by time of day for a specific facility, but would generally be unable to provide more granular information such as truck type, tonnages, commodities, or origin/destination. In addition, these officials noted that a decision to share any such information would need to be made in the context of legal and business ramifications for the firm, adding an additional layer of complexity to efforts to obtain truck trip data. EStimating truck trip gEnEration for airport air cargo activity

2 It is difficult to determine the actual level of demand for air cargo facility-related truck trip gen- eration rates across potential users. It is unclear whether the lack of readily available data is a driver or a consequence of the limited occurrences of trip rates being developed and applied. Because every air cargo facility and airport has unique characteristics, including the nature and volume of air cargo handled, air cargo facility access roadway configurations, and local roadway system operations, it is unlikely that a single truck trip generation rate or range of rates can be applied across all airports. Therefore, further research would help to fully assess the details of the available data sources and methods discussed in this report to determine the most effective combination of data and methods for application to different airports.

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TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis 80: Estimating Truck Trip Generation for Airport Air Cargo Activity compiles existing information about air cargo truck trip generation studies. The existing literature and research regarding air cargo facility-related truck trip generation rates is limited in its scope and detail. In addition, the complexity of the modern air cargo industry makes it difficult to obtain the data necessary to develop truck trip generation rates. Access to such information could conceivably help a community plan and invest appropriately by accounting for air cargo’s impacts. Similarly, air cargo operators and airport officials could employ such data to help ensure cargo facility truck access and egress remains reliable and safe.

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