National Academies Press: OpenBook

Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information (2012)

Chapter: Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22731.
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10 Introduction The research has shown that there is considerable diversity within the industry in the type, amount, integration, and method of dissemination of ground access travel information made available to airport customers. While most airports’ primary method of communicating this information to the traveler typically occurs through a website, there are many other sources and methods of information currently in use at airports across the United States and internationally. In general, the type of ground access traveler information disseminated by airports includes both static and real-time data and addresses many types of information, including: • Maps and driving directions to the airport (both static and real time); • Real-time area traffic conditions; • Transit access and schedules to the airport; • Real-time transit status; • Bicycle access guidance to the airport; • Multimodal trip-planning assistance; • Parking locations, rates, and status; • Ground transportation options and status; • Cell phone lot location and status; • Rental car locations; • Security wait status; and • Flight status information. Technologies and devices in use to provide this information to the airport traveler include: • Airport websites, • Other area traffic and public transportation websites, • Email/text alerts, • Smartphone applications, • Multi-user flight information display systems (MUFIDs), • Kiosks, • Roadway DMS, • 511 Systems, and • Radio (including highway advisory radio [HAR]). Understanding the state-of-the-practice in ground access traveler information dissemination was accomplished by (1) reviewing current airport websites to determine the information that is currently delivered and (2) performing a gap analysis to determine where gaps in traveler information exist. Additionally, sources of traveler information outside the airport were reviewed to identify other sources and types of information that may be available. C h a p t e r 2 State-of-the-Practice in Airport Traveler Ground Access Information

State-of-the-practice in airport traveler Ground access Information 11 Review of Current Airport Websites An extensive review of current airport websites provided a solid basis for understanding the state-of-the-practice in the delivery of the types of airport traveler information to the website user and whether each type of information presented was static or if it was routinely updated (i.e., dynamic). A review was performed of the websites of the 30 largest airports in each of the FAA-designated categories (large, medium, small, and non-hub). In addition, the 30 largest international airports were also examined. FAA enplanement data from 2007 was the basis for determining the largest airports in each category. The review looked for the presence of the traveler information items shown on the airport website, not at the airport itself. This distinction is important to understand. As an example, consider the case of a typical cell phone lot. Most facilities of this type have dynamic information on flight arrivals presented in the parking area. However, information on the airport website will most likely be static in nature, reflecting the existence of the airport cell phone lot and possibly providing information about its use and directions to the facility. The dynamic information is not also presented on the website, as it may be of little value to the user as pre-trip traveler information. A classification of static information does not mean that the cell phone lot does not contain dynamic information. It simply means that in the context of this review methodology, which did not utilize site visits, the traveler information presented on the airport website was not dynamic. The following pieces of ground transportation information were examined for each airport included in the review: • Directions to the airport, • Airport roads information, • Airport access route congestion, • Links to regional traffic information, • Passenger drop-off/pick-up information, • Cell phone lot information, • Parking information, • Terminal information, • Weather conditions, • Flight/gate status information, • Rental car information, • Cargo information, • Shuttle/bus information, • Mass transit information, and • Information presented in multiple languages. A detailed analysis of each of the above traveler information categories is provided in Appendix C. By considering the findings obtained through the telephone interviews of airport operators, the research team determined that gaps in traveler information at airports are not caused by lack of data. Often, data either already exists within other systems at the airport or can be gathered relatively easily. Generally, the gaps are due to other reasons, such as: • Difficulty in turning existing data into useful information for travelers, • Difficulties in identifying adequate ways of disseminating the information, • Institutional issues relating to data/information sharing, • System/technology incompatibilities, and • Funding constraints. Although airport traveler information gaps do exist, the most commonly stated reason these gaps are not being filled is the cost to develop and deploy the required systems.

12 Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent transportation Systems elements to Improve airport traveler access Information Airport Traveler Information Gap Analysis To determine the difference between the levels of information currently provided to travelers and what is perceived as the desired levels, a “gap” analysis was performed. Gap analysis is a technique which looks as the difference between “where are we?” and “where do we want to be?” In this case, the gap analysis specifically examines the airport travelers’ information needs discussed earlier in this section and what traveler information is currently being provided. Table 1 provides the results of the analysis, by showing columns of how the traveler information is currently being provided on airport websites compared to how the airport traveler desires the information to be provided. The table makes reference to the future mode of information being dynamic and integrated. This is the largest obvious gap in information. While many aspects of Information Area State-of-the-Practice Future/Desired Airport directions Predominantly static Dynami c – Integrate d with a trip planning tool to provide tur n by turn directions. Airport road information Predominantly static Dynami c – Present real time travel conditions on airport acces s roadways and curbsides. Airport acces s rout e congestion Not readily available Dynami c – Integrate d with local and regional traveler information systems. Regional traffic information Link to dynamic site Dynami c – Integrate d with local and regional traveler information systems. Passenger pick up information Static on website , dynami c on property Dynami c – Pick up locations may vary based on curbside congestion. Location/wait time for baggage claim Location announce d on plane, MUFIDS Dynami c – Information “pushed” to travelers via tex t message or email. Flight/gat e status Dynami c Dynamic . Cellphone lot information Static on website , dynami c on property Dynami c flight/gate status displayed in lot . Real time arrival information to airports (by mode ) Link s to othe r mode s of travel Dynami c information on airport arrival times displayed within transit vehicles or pushed to user s via tex t message/email. Parking information Static on website , dynami c on property Dynami c – Real time parking facilit y statu s and space availability displayed on websit e an d pushed to travelers via text message/email. Terminal information Static Integrated – Terminal location/shuttle information integrated with information on travel tim e to the airport. Chec k in/security wait times Not readily available Dynamic/Integrate d – Real time wait times displaye d on website and pushe d to travelers via tex t message/emai l and integrated with trip-planning tools. Weather Dynami c Dynamic . Rental car information Static Integrated – Rental car return location/shuttle information integrated with information on travel time to the airport. Taxi/car service/ shared van related information Static Integrated with trip planning tool to displa y rates and travel times by mode . Public transi t information Static link s Dynamic/Integrate d – Real time arrival/departure times of public transit vehicles displayed on website and integrated with trip-planning tool to displa y rates and travel times by mode . Table 1. Information gap analysis for airport traveler information needs.

State-of-the-practice in airport traveler Ground access Information 13 traveler information are currently available in a dynamic aspect, an integrated presentation of information across all aspects of the trip is currently lacking. For the purpose of this guidebook, integrated presentation refers to the compilation of information from different, and often dis- parate, sources into one system that displays the information in a coordinated fashion. It is not always necessary that data is shared among agencies; at the most elementary level, a link may be provided to another agency’s website that provides the desired information. However, it should be noted that with increasing numbers of travelers accessing information from mobile websites, “linking” to external websites is not the most desirable solution. It is very easy for a user to get lost while attempting to follow external website links and oftentimes they cannot easily navigate back to the original website. Being able to access fully integrated trip information would be highly useful to various users during many phases of a trip, including (1) during pre-trip planning, (2) during the travel as a departing passenger, (3) during the travel as an arriving passenger, and (4) before and after the trip as a person picking up or dropping off a traveler. While not all aspects of the integrated information would need to be available during each of the previous phases, a fully integrated application would serve multiple traveler segments. It should be remembered that much of the information on state-of-the-practice identified in Table 1 came from the review of airport operator websites. As mentioned previously, there were no site surveys of airports; therefore, the current status information predominantly reflects what is available on the airport website. It is recognized that some information may be available on the airport property in a dynamic fashion, such as within a cell phone lot. After gaps have been identified, a plan can be created for addressing them. Some gaps may be addressed by simple process changes. For example, a missing piece of data can be collected and entered into an existing system. Other gaps may require some attention during the integration process, such as resolving conflicting business rules when two systems are integrated. Larger gaps may even require additional systems to be built or acquired. In addition to the high-level comparison shown in Table 1, the information gap analysis can be extended to examine the provision of traveler information in terms of the size and/or classification of the airport: • Domestic large-hub airports, • Domestic medium-hub airports, • Domestic small-hub airports, • Domestic non-hub airports, and • International airports. Tables 2 through 6 highlight the traveler information gaps by the size or classification of the airport. The gaps are indicated by the lighter colored portion of the bars, which generally increase in size as the airport size decreases. As expected, large airports, in general, are meeting traveler information needs the best. This is most likely attributable to one or more of the following reasons: 1. Funding: Large airports have greater revenues and sources of revenues than their smaller counterparts. This permits large airports to make more substantial investments in systems to provide traveler information. 2. Environment complexities: Large airports provide service from more airlines, occupy a greater land size, use a system of multiple terminals and concourses, may have more transportation options for arriving at and departing from the airport, etc. These attributes require large airports to provide more traveler information to address such complexities and attempt to overcome confusion or intimidation of their environment.

14 Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent transportation Systems elements to Improve airport traveler access Information 3. Expectations: Air travelers are savvy as to what technologies can be used to deliver information. Travelers expect large, urban airports to provide information using these technologies and to remain current with technology trends. Large airports are aware of these expectations and want to satisfy their customers as best they can. While large airports appear to be satisfying a greater number of traveler information needs, this does not imply the smaller airports are failing to be proactive. In most cases, airports of all sizes provide basic information such as parking options, directions to airport, etc., and various levels of information and technology sophistication occur at all airport sizes. Additionally, the “failure” of an airport to provide transit information may be because the airport is not served by transit. As pointed out earlier, however, the true gap in this area is not necessarily the provision of the information, but rather the provision of the information in a single, unified, organized view or application. Review of Airport Trip-Planning Tools During the review of airport websites, several examples of integrated traveler information were identified in the form of trip- or journey-planning tools. These tools allow users to input origin and destination information and subsequently obtain detailed route and itinerary information Table 2. Information gap analysis for domestic large-hub airports.

State-of-the-practice in airport traveler Ground access Information 15 for multiple travel modes. This allows users to select the mode that best meets their needs in terms of price, arrival and departure times, and overall travel time. Although several examples of airport ground access planning tools are provided in this section, this type of integrated information was not found to be a common provision among airport websites. The following examples of airport trip-planning tools are provided in this section: • BWI (Baltimore/Washington International Airport) Ground Access Information System (Baltimore, Maryland) • Schiphol Journey Planner (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) • Heathrow Route Planner (London, England) • Narita Airport Access Planner (Tokyo, Japan) BWI Ground Access Information System (Baltimore, Maryland) Users can access the BWI Ground Access Information System directly from the airport website. The trip-planning tool allows users to plan a trip either to or from BWI and provides detailed route and itinerary information for a number of travel modes, including real-time traffic information. The real-time traffic information is provided by INRIX, which aggregates data from millions of mobile devices and sensors in order to provide real-time and predictive traffic conditions. Table 3. Information gap analysis for domestic medium-hub airports.

16 Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent transportation Systems elements to Improve airport traveler access Information Table 4. Information gap analysis for domestic small-hub airports.

State-of-the-practice in airport traveler Ground access Information 17 Table 5. Information gap analysis for domestic non-hub airports.

18 Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent transportation Systems elements to Improve airport traveler access Information To plan a trip using the system, users can enter an address, select a rail station, or simply click on the interactive map to identify the location from which to begin or end their trip. Map-based graphics provided by Google have the ability to display rail stations and real-time traffic conditions as well as the selected route. The home page for the BWI Ground Access Information System is shown in Figure 3. As a test of the system, a sample trip was entered: depart from BWI and arrive at DuPont Circle in Washington, DC. As shown in Figure 4, the following information was retrieved: • Distance to destination; • Taxi pricing information; • Shared-ride van details and pricing information (links to shuttle providers’ websites); • Driving details, including step-by-step directions and estimated travel time and delay. These details can also be accessed directly by selecting the “Driving” tab from the menu to the left of the map; • Rail details, including rail line, travel time, and pricing information. These details can also be accessed directly by selecting the “Rail” tab from the menu to the left of the map; and • Travel time delays in minutes by Interstate. These details can also be accessed directly by selecting the “Travel Delay” tab from the menu to the left of the map. Table 6. Information gap analysis for international airports.

State-of-the-practice in airport traveler Ground access Information 19 Figure 3. BWI Ground Access Information System: Home page. Schiphol Journey Planner (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) Similar to the BWI Ground Access Information System, the Schiphol Journey Planner for Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, provides users with the ability to enter an origin and subsequently select a travel mode that best meets their travel needs. As shown in Figure 5, after an origin is entered, a list of transportation modal options are displayed with associated fares and travel times to the airport. Heathrow Route Planner (London, England) London Heathrow Airport provides travelers with a route planner that is facilitated by Transport Direct, which is a non-profit consortium, led by Atos—an international information technology (IT) firm. Similar to the BWI and Schiphol trip-planning tools, the Heathrow Route Planner allows users to input origin information and then displays travel options by mode. Narita Airport Access Planner (Tokyo, Japan) As shown in Figure 6 and similar to the other examples provided in this section, the Narita Airport Access Planner provides information linked to flight information, travel routes, and times and fares by mode choice. It is interesting to note that two options are offered for transfer

20 Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent transportation Systems elements to Improve airport traveler access Information times and connections. A user can choose between “Regular” and “Long.” “Regular” is the approximate time that a man in his thirties would take to make the transfer, walking at a normal pace. “Long” refers to 1.4 times the regular time. It is recommended that passengers with large or many pieces of luggage select the “Long” transfer time. It should also be noted that if the transfer involves the use of steps, escalators, or elevators, then the time shown for the transfer includes use of these. A user can select the originating station of the bus or a landmark based on the area of Tokyo, whether an airport access bus will be needed, the amount of time desired at the airport prior to departure (i.e., for shopping, eating, etc.), how to sort the results (i.e., by travel time, lowest fare, or number of transfers), and finally, the time needed for transfer (i.e., regular or long). Beyond the Airport—Additional Sources of Traveler Information A review of the status of worldwide mobile communications as well as additional external sources of traveler information services was performed to identify the potential sources and types of information that are currently available to the airport traveler. This review shows Figure 4. BWI Ground Access Information System: Results page.

State-of-the-practice in airport traveler Ground access Information 21 significant diversity and growth in the amount, format, and dissemination methods cur- rently in use—all of which are increasing an airport’s ability to better communicate with their customers. Status of Worldwide Mobile Communications Mobile Cellular According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the leading agency of the United Nations for information and communications technology issues, by the end of 2010 there will be approximately 5.3 billion mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide. Of those subscriptions, 940 million will have access to 3G service. Although not everyone has access to a mobile phone with data capacities, access to mobile networks is available to 90 percent of the world population. Between 2007 and 2010 the number of countries that were offering 3G broadband services increased by 50 percent from 95 to 143 (International Telecommunications Union, 2010). Currently, a number of countries are moving to 4G broadband services, including Sweden, Norway, Ukraine, and the United States. Figure 5. Schiphol Journey Planner: Results page.

22 Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent transportation Systems elements to Improve airport traveler access Information Figure 6. Narita Airport Access Planner: Results page. Furthermore, as indicated in Figure 7, in 2010 there were 114.2 mobile cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in developed regions. This fact is likely attributable to users having a mobile phone in addition to a tablet PC, both of which may require a cellular subscription. Short Message Service Text Messaging In addition to the increasing saturation of the mobile phone market, another interesting statistic to note is the dramatic increase in the number of short message service (SMS) text messages sent. Globally, the number of text messages sent tripled between 2007 and 2010, from an estimated 1.8 trillion to 6.1 trillion. The Philippines and the United States made up 35 percent of all text messages sent in 2009 (International Telecommunications Union, 2010). Internet Between 2005 and 2010, the number of internet users worldwide doubled to almost 2 billion in 2010. China, with more than 420 million internet users, is the largest internet market in the world. While mobile phone technology is penetrating rural and developing countries, only 21 percent of the population of developing countries has access to the internet (International Telecommunications Union, 2010). As indicated in Figure 8, in 2010 there were 68.8 internet users per 100 inhabitants in developed regions. With the increasing prevalence of smartphone use, and the fact that the difference between mobile web and internet is diminishing, it seems reasonable that the

State-of-the-practice in airport traveler Ground access Information 23 Figure 7. Mobile cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, 2000–2010. Figure 8. Internet users per 100 inhabitants, 2000–2010.

24 Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent transportation Systems elements to Improve airport traveler access Information number of internet users will continue on a steady path upwards toward full penetration, especially for developed regions. Near Field Communication Near field communication (NFC) technology has been around for some time; however, it is increasingly being referred to as the next big development that will occur in the evolution of the mobile phone market. The premise of NFC technology is that a mobile phone could serve as a contactless device providing users with the capability to make electronic payments, check in for flights, use it as a transit pass, obtain special offers or coupons, as well as others. Traffic Information There are several web pages that offer information on traffic conditions for roadways in all metropolitan regions, such as Google maps, Traffic.com, Yahoo maps, and regional traffic management centers, such as Houston TranStar (serving the Houston, Texas, region) and Georgia NaviGAtor (serving the Atlanta, Georgia, region). Regional traffic management web pages typically display the following information on a map-based background: • Incident locations; • Construction locations; • Closed circuit television (CCTV) camera locations and streaming feeds; • Traffic flow status (congestion level, average speed); • Dynamic message sign locations and messages displayed; and • Road weather condition information. Some traffic management sites provide functionality that allows users to input their trip origin and destination, view the traffic conditions in the surrounding area, and then select the best route. Speeds on the surrounding roadways are color coded and lane closures or incidents are indicated by an icon. Users can select specific incidents and read a short description and determine the exact location of the problem, and then make adjustments to their trip as necessary. This feature is especially useful when determining the quickest route to and from airports. Email is a mechanism that is often employed to get traveler information. Many people sign up to get special alerts or notifications and some traffic sites allow a user to customize those emails to a particular route and/or time of day. A shorter form of email, commonly known as text messaging, is also widely used to disseminate information, such as travel alerts. In recent years, third-party data collection and information service providers, such as INRIX and Google, have rapidly advanced in their ability to provide high-quality, real-time traffic information due to their ability to aggregate data from millions of global positioning system (GPS) enabled vehicles and mobile phones. Additionally, INRIX and Google provide the ability for users to view traffic forecasts up to 8 hours in advance, which is based on past conditions. A screenshot showing real-time Google traffic information for an area of Los Angeles, California, is displayed in Figure 9. Weather Information Numerous web pages and smartphone applications display weather forecasts, such as The Weather Channel (www.weather.com) and Weather Underground (www.wunderground.com). On these pages, users input the zip code or city/state to view the daily, hour-by-hour, weekend,

State-of-the-practice in airport traveler Ground access Information 25 and/or 10-day weather forecast for that area. Users can also view interactive radar maps that show the specified location with weather conditions over a 30-minute block of time. Using the internet to check weather conditions is useful on a day-to-day basis for local conditions, but also useful when traveling or flying. Parking Information Aside from airport websites, there are a number of sites that provide drivers with information on parking availability and pricing that allows them to find available spaces and compare pricing and locations on an interactive map-based display on their computer or mobile phone. Two examples of sites that provide this type of information are Parkopedia (http://en.parkopedia.com) and Parking Spotter (www.parkingspotter.com). Parking at airports by time-constrained travelers is often a hectic and stressful experience, especially during peak travel times when parking facilities may be reaching capacity and the process to locate an available space becomes more time consuming. Websites have been devel- oped that aim to ease travelers’ stress by allowing them to locate, select, and reserve a parking space in advance. An example of a site that provides this service is Airport Parking Reservations (www.airportparkingreservations.com). Figure 9. Screenshot from Google Traffic, Los Angeles.

26 Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent transportation Systems elements to Improve airport traveler access Information A sample query was input into the system for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Eight results were found, which included both on- and off-airport parking facilities. Users have the ability to sort the results by price, parking facility type (self, valet, covered), customer ratings, or company. Once a user has completed a reservation, a receipt is provided that includes a travel itinerary with directions to the parking lot as well as other trip information. A screenshot from the website is displayed in Figure 10. Flight Tracking/Status Multiple websites and mobile phone applications, such as FlightView Elite (www.flightview.com) as shown in Figure 11, provide syndicated flight status information that allows travelers to track the real-time status of flights as well as airport delays. Typically, a user inputs the flight number or departure and arrival cities to obtain information related to a particular flight. Some sites allow a user to view all flight activity at a certain airport. While this information is not specifically ground access information, real-time flight status may influence an airport traveler’s choice of access mode, route, parking option, and other critical trip elements. Figure 10. Screenshot from Airport Parking Reservations website.

State-of-the-practice in airport traveler Ground access Information 27 Figure 11. iPhone screenshots from FlightView Elite. Trip Itinerary Planning Itinerary planning sites, such as TripIt, allow travelers to organize all of their travel plans in one spot and receive alerts concerning travel delays, cancellations, and gate changes. TripIt will build an itinerary based on flight, hotel, and rental car confirmation emails that you forward to the designated email address. Really Simple Syndication (RSS) Feeds RSS (Wikipedia, 2010c) feeds, such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video, can be read using software called an “RSS reader,” “feed reader,” or “aggregator,” which can be web based, desk- top based, or mobile device based. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. The RSS reader checks the user’s subscribed feeds regularly for new work, downloads any updates that it finds, and provides a user interface to monitor and read the feeds. Examples of information that airport travelers may access using RSS feeds are general airport conditions, delays by destination, and general departure and arrival delays. Social Media and Networking Social media and networking tools use web-based and mobile applications to facilitate infor- mation dissemination and social interaction among individuals, groups of people, businesses, and organizations through the creation, sharing, and exchange of user-generated content. The two most common social networking formats used by airports to disseminate and exchange information with users are Facebook and Twitter. YouTube is the most common social media tool that provides the airport with an outlet to broadcast information to users. These tools should be consistently moni- tored and managed by the airport to refine and improve usage, format, and content.

28 Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent transportation Systems elements to Improve airport traveler access Information Facebook Facebook is a social networking service and website that has achieved a phenomenal number of users. As of January 2011, Facebook was estimated to have more than 600 million active users worldwide (Business Insider, 2011). Users of the service typically create a personal profile, add other users as friends, join common interest user groups, and exchange messages. Facebook is used by many airports as a way to communicate and share news items, air travel delays, status of parking facilities (i.e., open/full), and photos of airport construction projects; advertise airport products such as parking or the location of a particular airport vendor; and announce new airlines and flights servicing the airport; among other activities. Twitter Twitter is a social networking service and website that allows users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters called “tweets.” Users may subscribe to other users’ tweets, known as “following,” which are then automatically added to the user’s Twitter feed page. Airports should consider using Twitter for disseminating traveler information that changes on a regular basis. The following types of information would be useful for airport travelers to receive via Twitter: • Security wait times, • Access route congestion (including curbsides), • Parking lot/garage status, • Flight status and gate changes, and • System-wide delays. YouTube YouTube is a social media website that allows users to view, upload, and share videos. Airports may create their own YouTube “channel” where videos can be uploaded for sharing with users. YouTube is not typically used for providing users with real-time information like Facebook and Twitter, but used primarily as a repository for informational and newsworthy video clips. For example, the Denver International Airport uses its YouTube channel to provide videos of tours of the airport, how to find lost items, how the airport keeps the airfield clean, sustainability initiatives, and public art features among others. Future—Connected Vehicle Technology The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and ITS organizations around the world are promoting research in the area of connected vehicles with the goal of developing applications that will improve safety, reduce emissions, and lower transportation system operating costs through more efficient operations. The end result will essentially be a fully integrated transportation system. Specifically, the Dynamic Mobility Applications initiative (USDOT ITS Joint Program Office) is focusing on the development of applications that take advantage of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity through the use of data from probe vehicles, dedicated short-range communications (DSRC), and other wireless communications methods. Data on travel conditions and congestion could conceivably be obtained in real-time by travelers while en route. This information could then be used to help airport travelers make decisions with respect to mode choice, vehicle routing, and travel times. According to a 2010 ITS America-sponsored survey of ITS industry professionals, the applica- tion identified as the best candidate for early commercial deployment (i.e., 1 to 4 years) of the connected vehicles initiative was traveler information. However, a number of risks and hurdles were also identified, including uncertainty in initial and ongoing operations and maintenance funding, concerns of low DSRC penetration, as well as low maturity of standards, technology, and products (Berg, Khijniak, & Rausch, 2010).

State-of-the-practice in airport traveler Ground access Information 29 There is still a considerable amount of technical research to be accomplished related to con- nected vehicles in the coming years. Key focus areas include harmonization of international stan- dards and architecture around the vehicle platform to ensure interoperability, human factors research to examine the risks involved in providing additional information to drivers, connected vehicle certification, as well as results from the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-technology test bed (Test Bed 2.0). It is acknowledged that in addition to the USDOT’s connected vehicles initiative, there are a number of similar and related programs such as the European webinos initiative. Webinos is driven by a consortium of 22 partners with members ranging from mobile phone manufacturers, telecommunications operators, and car manufacturers to universities and research institutions. The goal of webinos is to deliver an open source platform that will enable web applications and services to be used and shared over a wide variety of connected devices such as mobile phone, PC, home media (TV), and in-vehicle units.

Next: Chapter 3 - Assessing Airport Traveler Information Needs »
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TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 70: Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information provides descriptions, component details, and examples of how airport ground access information can be disseminated using various intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies.

The guidebook contains tables to help airport operators determine the applicability of certain ITS strategies based on airport operational needs and airport size.

The printed version of the report includes an interactive CD-ROM designed to help explore and evaluate the information needs of various airport traveler market segments and to identify ITS technologies that best meet the needs of the airport user.

The CD-ROM also contains a decision support tool that allows users to identify appropriate methods of delivering airport traveler information based on the airport traveler market segment.

The CD-ROM is also available for download from TRB’s website as an ISO image. Links to the ISO image and instructions for burning a CD-ROM from an ISO image are provided below.

Help on Burning an .ISO CD-ROM Image

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CD-ROM Disclaimer - This software is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance will the National Academy of Sciences or the Transportation Research Board (collectively "TRB") be liable for any loss or damage caused by the installation or operation of this product. TRB makes no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, including without limitation, the warranty of merchantability or the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and shall not in any case be liable for any consequential or special damages.

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