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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Guidebook for Assessing Collaborative Planning Efforts Among Airport and Public Planning Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25781.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Guidebook for Assessing Collaborative Planning Efforts Among Airport and Public Planning Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25781.
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Page 2
Page 3
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Guidebook for Assessing Collaborative Planning Efforts Among Airport and Public Planning Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25781.
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Page 3

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

1 Airports are essential components of state and regional transportation systems, often repre- senting significant passenger and freight flows in an urban area. However, for various reasons, many airports have not been active participants in statewide and metropolitan transportation planning, which is the accepted process for guiding the development of a multimodal and inte- grated transportation system. In turn, many regional planning actors desire to find more efficient ways to engage with airport authorities and planning staff. Greater participation would allow all parties to take advantage of scarce regional planning resources and improve the trans- portation outcomes for all stakeholders. ACRP Project 03-43, “Integrating Airport Ground Access and Metropolitan Surface Trans- portation Planning Efforts,” identified and assessed collaborative airport access (and other joint) planning efforts between airport planning staffs and public planning agencies. The project surveyed both groups and developed case studies of the institutional, financial, transportation system, and legal/regulatory factors that influence the level of success of such collaboration. One product of this research is this guidebook, which aims to help airport and public planning agencies develop compatible ground access and surface transportation plans by using best practices of collaboration and data sharing. The primary audiences for the guidebook are: • The technical staff in both types of agencies where planning efforts are undertaken, and • Agency leaders in both types of agencies who have overall responsibility for determining: – The scope of planning studies, – Structures for collaborative planning approaches, – The stakeholders who need to participate, and – Decision-making processes. 1.1 Context There are many reasons for the disconnect between airports and public agencies in transpor- tation planning. Some of the reasons are: • Resource constraints: Airport managers and planners, in particular at smaller airports, have limited staff and capabilities for planning tasks that are not mandated federally. Moreover, the modal separation of most funding means it is difficult to combine resources. • Differing priorities: Airport owners/managers view key elements of airport access, such as parking, differently from metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and city or county transportation planning departments. While parking provides an important revenue source for airports, it is often seen as a necessary but undesirable land use by other agencies that seek to promote alternatives to driving solo. C H A P T E R 1 Introduction

2 Guidebook for Assessing Collaborative Planning Efforts Among Airport and Public Planning Agencies • Misunderstanding of responsibilities: Surface transportation advocates may see the airport as a potential source of funding for access and noise/environmental impact mitigation projects rather than as a partner in fostering the livability and economy of a region. Airport staff are typically focused on the needs of airlines and airport users, who pay for airport services. How airport staff perceive their role with respect to airport access planning varies strongly between airports. • Process issues: Airports and cities do not plan and develop in symmetry. Many examples exist where transit stops or stations are located at inconvenient locations (from a transit rider’s perspective) on airport property, often because transit was not part of the initial terminal area planning. In many other cases, transportation planning for a region or a locality is neither linked to, nor integrated with, airport planning. This lack of collaboration has often led to challenges with transportation infrastructure projects involving airports. The benefits of overcoming barriers to collaboration are substantial. As many air travelers increasingly expect a choice of high-quality airport access transportation modes, research is needed on how airports and surface transportation planning agencies can collaborate effec- tively to enhance airport access by sharing data, improving processes, and designing strategies together. Improved airport access benefits not only air travelers and airport employees, but also downtown business interests and the community at large. Rapid changes in surface transportation business models and technologies are also leading to new and potentially transformative models of mobility that could change today’s business model of how airports and mobility providers operate in the future. These changes include changing patterns of airborne freight at many airports due to the consolidation of dedicated cargo opera- tors and other market changes that affect airport highway access, further underscoring the need for integration between airport plans and the transportation plans of surrounding jurisdictions. 1.2 Before Using the Guidebook The guidebook was developed with airport access issues as the target, but the proposed approach can be used for a range of airport and public planning contexts. The following factors were considered in the development of the guidebook and are thus important for its use: • Airports are defined as public-use commercial and general aviation facilities. • Transportation planning agencies are defined as local, regional, and state transportation plan- ning agencies, including MPOs, each of which has its own institutional and planning context. • The types of ground access and surface transportation challenges facing airports will vary from one locale to another. On the transit side, rail/fixed-guideway access is becoming com- mon for the largest metropolitan areas and airports (e.g., Oakland in 2014, Denver Interna- tional in 2016, Dulles in the near future), as well as some smaller airports (some of which were previously major hubs, such as St. Louis), while bus access remains the norm for midsize MPOs (e.g., Cincinnati, Columbus, Pittsburgh). Smaller airports vary between direct bus service from downtown (e.g., Reno) to no direct bus service from downtown to the airport (e.g., Front Range airport, which has only a shuttle from Denver International) or no bus service at all for smaller airports, particularly those without commercial service. Similarly, separated-access highways are frequent for the largest metros and their airports, although it is more difficult to achieve for airports located in dense urban areas (in New York City in particular). Much smaller arterial roads or even secondary roads often provide access to smaller airports. Small airports within large metropolitan areas often do not have large freight traffic flows. This guidebook is relevant to all such contexts. • Many states and metropolitan areas have undertaken or are currently conducting regional freight studies. Surface access to airports, for both air cargo and supplying airport-related

Introduction 3 retail/commercial businesses, is an important part of these studies. Airport officials often have little involvement in such studies. In contrast, numerous airports are developing their own freight strategies and plans. This guidebook reflects the importance of freight access to an airport—in particular, how the planning process can include such concerns and who will be involved. • While this study focused on the interaction among relevant agencies for planning airport ground access, many airport planning groups are engaged with local planning agencies with respect to major development projects. A recent conversation with a major airport, for example, revealed that the planning group is more involved with the MPO over an Aerotropolis devel- opment than it is for ground access. Another factor influencing the interaction between the planning processes at airports vis-à-vis the rest of the region relates to an airport’s funding support. In most cases, FAA rules constrain the ability of airports to fund access projects beyond the airport property line; if airport funds are to be used, they must be primarily dedicated to airport access. Such a limitation can often constrain the interest of airport planners beyond the property line. 1.3 Guidebook Organization This guidebook is organized to allow users to access information for particular interests. • For those wanting information on the respective roles of airport and public planning agencies/ staffs in surface transportation planning: Chapter 2 describes the different roles for both air- port and public planning agency staffs in airport access specifically and regional/community transportation planning more generally. In addition, the evolving relationship among these groups in the context of major development projects near the airport is discussed. This chapter also identifies some of the legislative and regulatory factors that influence collabora- tive interaction. • For those wanting information on the benefits of more collaborative planning: Chapter 3 identi- fies the benefits to the airport, public planning agencies, and the region more broadly of more collaborative planning. Put simply, what does each gain by working more closely in plan- ning and implementing projects that will improve access to the airport and enhance regional mobility? • For those wanting to know how well their current collaborative planning environment is per- forming: Chapter 4 presents a self-assessment tool that can be used by airport planning and public planning agency staffs to assess the current collaborative nature of joint plan- ning efforts. The tool identifies specific areas where collaboration seems to be working and areas where improvements can be made. The chapter also identifies different strategies for improving collaborative planning reflective of the level of collaboration that currently exists in the region. • For those wanting examples of how a self-assessment process and the identification of enhance- ment strategies can occur: Chapter 5 provides prototypical cases of how the self-assessment tool and the use of institutional strategies for improving collaboration can occur for different types of challenges facing the planning process. • The appendix presents a self-assessment template that can be used by planning or airport officials to assess the current institutional capacity for collaborative efforts in airport access planning. ACRP Project 03-43 has also produced a final report that provides a more detailed descrip- tion of the research project and particularly the process followed in developing this guidebook. The guidebook was based on the results of this research, which presented a unique opportunity to delve into why collaboration between surface and aviation planning is so limited and how forward-thinking practitioners can connect with their peers across modes.

Next: Chapter 2 - Factors Influencing Airports and Public Planning Agencies as Part of Surface Transportation Planning »
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Public-use airports, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and local land-use/ transportation planning agencies all have independent yet interrelated planning processes bound by legal and policy requirements to ensure compatibility. This means that they should work cooperatively to solve joint transportation challenges in the most effective and efficient manner.

The TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program's ACRP Research Report 216: Guidebook for Assessing Collaborative Planning Efforts Among Airport and Public Planning Agencies offers guidance for enhancing collaboration between airports and metropolitan surface transportation planning agencies.

An additional resource is the contractor's final report.

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