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Airport Landside Data: Collection and Application (2023)

Chapter: Chapter 2 - How This Study Was Conducted

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - How This Study Was Conducted." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Airport Landside Data: Collection and Application. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27403.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - How This Study Was Conducted." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Airport Landside Data: Collection and Application. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27403.
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Page 6
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - How This Study Was Conducted." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Airport Landside Data: Collection and Application. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27403.
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5   The information presented in this synthesis was gathered by (1) conducting a literature search, including from international sources, from online search engines, personal files, and the Trans- portation Research Information Services (TRIS) database; (2) surveying the top 100 airports in the United States by enplaned passengers; and (3) interviewing the staff at nine case example airports located in the United States. The following paragraphs summarize the literature review and surveys and describe the characteristics of the airports whose staff were interviewed. 2.1 Summary of Literature Review Published literature regarding U.S. airport programs and initiatives to collect, use, and store data is limited. There are numerous published articles documenting academic research con- ducted at an airport that evaluated potential innovative uses of data to evaluate and improve airport operations. These efforts were typically one-time events testing a different approach or method and did not reflect an ongoing airport program. The available literature on a specific airport’s ongoing initiatives in data collection and associated analysis and use is limited to pre- sentations made at industry conferences and workshops, which are typically not readily avail- able to the public. Literature discussing data collection, use, and storage by airports published in popular media and technical journals can be categorized by: 1. ACRP research related to airport planning and operations, including analysis of airport ter- minals and roadways, execution of passenger surveys, and legal issues associated with airport data collection. Examples include ACRP Report 25: Airport Passenger Terminal Planning and Design, Volume 1: Guidebook (Landrum and Brown et al. 2010); ACRP Report 40: Airport Curbside and Terminal Area Roadway Operations (LeighFisher et al. 2010), ACRP Report 235: Guidebook for Conducting Airport User Surveys and Other Customer Research (Franz et al. 2021), and ACRP Legal Research Digest 42: Legal Implications of Data Collection at Airports (Zoufal et al. 2021). 2. Research papers on a one-time test of a specific technology at an airport. Examples of publicly available papers include “Collection and analysis of multi-modal airport land side probe data from Bluetooth enabled mobile devices” (Hainen et al. 2013), which focused on an applica- tion at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, and “Research on temporal and spatial distribution characteristics of passenger flow of Daxing airport line based on auto- matic fare collection data” (Zhao et al. 2022). 3. Research papers on one-time in-field surveys regarding passenger behavior, typically focused on pedestrian activities or passenger processing [e.g., “Analysis of Conveyance System Use in Airport Concourses” (Chiang and Taaffe 2012), “Processing of Passengers Efficiently: An Analysis of Airport Processing Times For International Passengers” (Pitchforth et al. 2015), and “Data-Driven Analysis of Airport Security Checkpoint Operations” (Janssen et al. 2020)]. C H A P T E R   2 How This Study Was Conducted

6 Airport Landside Data: Collection and Application 4. Published articles or blog posts related to the general use of data to support airport opera- tions and commercial initiatives. Topics addressed range from privacy [e.g., “Data Privacy vs. Personalisation for Airports” (Rezcomm 2022)] to survey methods [e.g., “Why Survey Data is Fundamental to Developing Data-driven Strategies” (Pitters 2021)] to how data can benefit operations [e.g., “Digital technologies in airport ground operations” (Kovynyhov and Mikut 2019)]. In addition, there have been numerous presentations at aviation industry conferences where the presentations were available to conference participants but not published in technical jour- nals. These typically describe: 1. Overviews of technologies available for use by airports to monitor and measure vehicle or pedestrian flows [e.g., “License Plate Recognition on the Airport Roadway” (Swonsen 2018)] 2. Applications of technologies to monitor and manage airport ground transportation opera- tions [e.g., “Enhancing Operations Through Technology” (Swonsen 2015) and “What’s New in Airport Curbside Management” (Duncan 2011)] 3. A specific airport’s approach toward collecting and analyzing data and applying them to day-to-day operations and decision-making. Examples include “High-Efficiency Roadway Management at LGA” (Carbonaro 2022), “Washington Dulles International Airport, Moni- toring Ground Transportation Customer Service” (Patchan 2007), and “TNC Planning and Operations at San Francisco International Airport” (Gubser 2016). In summary, there are many examples of (a) published research regarding general issues related to airport data collection and management, (b) one-time tests of potential data collec- tion methods or uses of data to evaluate potential mathematical models, and (c) ACRP research on data collection methods, use, and other considerations for airports. However, information on specific airport data collection efforts and use is limited to conference presentations that are not publicly available. Where copies of these were in the Research Team’s files, relevant information has been included in the findings of this synthesis. 2.2 Survey of Airports The research team conducted a web-based survey of airports in the United States using an online survey tool seeking information regarding data the airports gather and use to improve landside services and make other decisions about planning, design, customer experience, and day-to-day operations. The online survey consisted of five questions with various sub-questions addressing whether the airport collects certain data, and if so, the frequency of data collection for each. The survey results from the 23 responding airports are summarized in Chapter 3. Appen- dix A: Survey Questions with Results includes a copy of the survey instrument and the received responses. 2.3 Case Examples The staff of nine airports agreed to participate as case examples, as shown in Figure 2-1. These airport staff were interviewed to review data collection methods; Chapter 6 documents the case example interviews and Appendix B: Summary of Interviews with Case Example Air- ports provides the interview questions and detailed responses.

How This Study Was Conducted 7   Figure 2-1. Case example airports. DEN ORD IND SNA FLL JAC SAN MDW PHX

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Airports collect data to help understand the customer journey from the entrance or access points of the airport to the boarding gates. Processes may change in order to improve the customer experience when the collected data are analyzed.

ACRP Synthesis 132: Airport Landside Data: Collection and Application, from TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Program, documents landside data, collection methods, analysis, and interpretation and discusses how that information affects airport decision-making.

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