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Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Planning and Design of Airport Terminal Restrooms and Ancillary Spaces. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26064.
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Page 1
Page 2
Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Planning and Design of Airport Terminal Restrooms and Ancillary Spaces. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26064.
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Page 2
Page 3
Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Planning and Design of Airport Terminal Restrooms and Ancillary Spaces. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26064.
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Page 3

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1 Planning and Design of Airport Terminal Restrooms and Ancillary Spaces There is a change underway in the aviation industry. It is a grassroots movement— passengers have spoken through blogs, media articles, and surveys. Restrooms in airport terminals that have lines or are cramped, dirty, smelly, or ugly are no longer tolerable. If travelers can have a massage and grab a coffee en route to their gate, they feel it is reason- able to expect restrooms with a few touches of hospitality such as soft lighting, warm water, and calming music. Such small conveniences are an easy accommodation. The real challenge for airports is to provide restrooms with enough space for people to move around in and offer secure, clean, and dry places for their belongings. The most frequent complaints airports receive concern these issues, and the industry is in catch-up mode. The driving force behind the development of this guidebook is customer service. When people travel, few things dampen their experience more than confronting a barrier to fulfilling their needs. Airport terminal restrooms are used by all people no matter their age, gender, culture, or mobility. The further an airport goes to accommodate the spectrum of traveler needs, the more likely it is that a traveler will choose its location over another. Because of the diversity in ages, health, and origins of the traveling public, the cleanliness of restrooms is a primary concern. Promoting and accommodating personal hygiene and providing clean surfaces help prevent the spread of both common ailments and pandemics. ACRP Report 130: Guidebook for Airport Terminal Restroom Planning and Design, published in 2015, presents a step-by-step process to help airport practitioners plan, design, and implement airport restroom projects with customer service in mind. The research for that project revealed that additional restroom-related topics needed to be considered, such as lactation rooms, pet relief areas, and shower facilities, and suggested these as topics for future research. This guidebook, ACRP Research Report 226: Planning and Design of Airport Terminal Restrooms and Ancillary Spaces, addresses planning, design, and implementation of airport spaces such as lactation rooms, pet relief areas, and shower facilities, in addition to restrooms. This research suggests that while restrooms are the mainstay of an airport’s supportive infrastructure, a collection of amenity spaces are rapidly becoming commonplace in airports. These amenity spaces are organized into three groups in this guidebook: • Regulated/essential amenities. Regulated amenity spaces are those required by building codes and governing bodies such as aviation authorities or those amenity spaces deemed essential to the needs of travelers based on this research. These include the following: – Service Animal Relief Area (SARA) – Lactation S U M M A R Y

2 Planning and Design of Airport Terminal Restrooms and Ancillary Spaces – Nursing Mothers – Companion Care Restroom – Changing Table Restroom • Waiting-related amenities. These spaces provide benefits and relief primarily to travelers who arrive early for their flight or who have a short layover between flights. These are – Companion Waiting Area – Children’s Play Area – Sensory Room – Meditation/Quiet Area – Yoga Area – Worship – Ablution – Smoking • Layover-related amenities. This group of spaces provides accommodations for travelers who have a long layover (e.g., overnight) and include – Sleeping – Fitness – Public Showers – Clothes Changing – Health/Urgent Care – Business Centers ACRP Research Report 226 continues the mission of ACRP Report 130 by providing airport managers and planning/design professionals the tools to meet the increasing demands of today’s traveling public by utilizing the following: • Findings regarding the state of the industry based on a literature review, surveys, focus groups, and case studies. • Planning methods for evaluating existing restrooms to determine what is needed and prototypes to guide the development of a restroom and amenities master plan. • Design guidelines for airports of different sizes and budgets to compare and prioritize restroom and amenity components and features, including considerations for new construction/renovation and the benefits of standardization. • Implementation strategies for handling construction impacts and post-construction review. As this guidebook will demonstrate, restrooms and amenity spaces that are successful find a balance among accommodation of the needs and expectations of the traveler, the efficiency of airport operations, and the cost of building and managing these spaces. Although aesthetics are important and certainly affect a traveler’s perceptions of clean- liness and safety, function still rules. Functional trends in restroom design, for example, still include touch-free environments, open entryways without doors, large-format materials with a minimum of joints, concealed trash, space for belongings, hand-drying options, and considerations for sustainability. One of the root drivers for this guidebook was to advance accessibility—not just in terms of American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, but complete access for everyone. On the left side of the graphic in Figure S-1, “Equality” is shown as providing individuals with the same accommodation. In the illustration of equality, the tallest person doesn’t need a boost to see, the middle person now has a view, but the third person still needs the additional accommodation of a viewing hole to see. On the right side of the graphic, labeled “Equity,” each person is provided with the accommodation they need to experience an unobstructed view of the game without any modification to the fence.

Summary 3 But what if you use a wheelchair or crutches? Stacked boxes don’t help. The issue is not the height of the people; it’s the fence. That is the barrier. As airport restroom and amenities teams have found (more information on the team is provided in Chapter 2), eliminating the “fence” is a daunting and sometimes unattainable task. Nearly every good design decision creates a conflict with something else. For example, a fixed, fold-down step at a sink provides a child or person of short stature access to the faucet but renders the sink inaccessible because the step prevents a wheelchair from pulling in. This research has shown that the starting goal should always be adjacency for any given function or task. This means, for example, that when a person is at a sink, everything should be within reach for that person (e.g., water, soap, drying) without that person having to move to a different location. This provides equality for an able-bodied adult, a child, a person in a wheelchair, and so forth. To make people’s experience at the sink equitable, though, an adjustable-height sink that will accommodate every height should be provided. However, adjustable-height sinks often have a flexible drain with a lot of ridges, which is a maintenance nightmare. This example illustrates the unlikelihood of achieving perfect solutions. But it’s also the challenge. Every airport has a unique context and experiences issues that will require compromise among a wide range of stakeholders. The hope is that the findings regarding the state of the industry, planning methods, design guidelines, and implementation strategies presented in this guidebook will be helpful to airport restroom and amenities teams as they plan and design restrooms and amenities that are the best fit for their airport and its travelers. Graphic provided courtesy of Interaction Institute for Social Change | Artist: Angus Maguire. Figure S-1. Equality vs. equity.

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Customer satisfaction has become one of the primary drivers for the success of an airport, and restrooms and ancillary facilities often provide the first and last impression of a destination. The real challenge for airports is to provide restrooms with enough space for people to move around in and offer secure, clean, and dry places for their belongings.

The TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program's ACRP Research Report 226: Planning and Design of Airport Terminal Restrooms and Ancillary Spaces provides a thoughtful, step-by-step process to help airport industry practitioners plan, design, and implement terminal restroom and other ancillary amenity projects. It is an updated and expanded version of ACRP Report 130: Guidebook for Airport Terminal Restroom Planning and Design and reflects the latest thinking in this quickly evolving topic.

Supplemental materials to the report include:

Appendix A: Component Comparison Matrix

Appendix B: Existing Restroom Evaluation Forms

Appendix C.1: Case Studies—Restrooms

Appendix C.2: Case Studies—Amenities

Appendix D.1: Stakeholder Outreach—Restrooms

Appendix D.2: Stakeholder Outreach—Amenities

Appendix E: Surveys

Appendix F: Restroom Design Guidelines/Standards Sample

Appendix G: Restroom Standard Operating Procedures Sample

Appendix H: Bibliography

Appendix I: Glossary

Tables 4-1 & 4-2 Worksheets

Table 4-3 Worksheet

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