Evaluating Improvements in Landside Access for Airports

Report No: 99-R7

Published in 1998

About the report:

The purpose of this research was to describe the elements that comprise airport access and develop a methodology for identifying and evaluating existing landside access performance and proposed improvements from a passenger perspective. The scope was limited to landside access service between approaches to the airport and the entrance to the terminal. A literature review and an investigation of Virginia state and metropolitan transportation agencies yielded the evaluation standards, guidelines, and methods currently used to identify and evaluate airport landside access performance and improvements. A national survey of U.S. airports determined the characteristics of the airport access services provided. Based on this information, factors relevant to evaluating landside access were identified. An access evaluation methodology was developed based on performance measures relating to cost, time, reliability, convenience, and quality. This methodology was demonstrated through investigation of landside access facilities at Richmond International Airport. Three conclusions were drawn. First, there is a lack of consistency in measuring airport access performance. Second, landside access to airports is a major concern at airports of all sizes, but there is no significant difference in reported access problems among large, medium, and small airports. Third, the methodology developed may be tailored to meet the needs of a specific airport. The study recommends that the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Virginia Department of Aviation incorporate the evaluation methodology into the access fund appropriations process; encourage Virginia airports to adopt the methodology as a step in the master plan process; and encourage nationwide use of the methodology by airport authorities, state departments of transportation, and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

Heather Wishart Shriner, Lester A. Hoel, Ph.D.

Last updated: December 12, 2023

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