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Suggested Citation:"Get Started." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Toolkit for Establishing Airport Catchment Areas. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27424.
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1 Get Started Depending on the project objectives, this toolkit can be used as a reference book of specific tools, a user guide for a comprehensive review, or a text for learning the concept of airport catchment analysis. Example toolkit uses include: • Carry out a comprehensive review If an airport is conducting a catchment area analysis for the first time, or if the airport has not completed such an analysis in the last ten years, it is recommended that the airport performs a Preliminary Analysis and then select and use Tools for Catchment Area Analysis for a comprehensive review. • Review catchment area change over the years If an airport has previously conducted a catchment area analysis within the last five years, the airport can follow the recommendations in Catchment Area Analysis Maintenance to review potential catchment area updates. If the previous catchment area analysis was completed more than five years ago and no review has been conducted ever since, the airport should consider starting a comprehensive review. • Estimate potential markets for proposed (new) air services If an airport is estimating the potential markets for proposed (new) air services, the airport can use the Travel Utility Analysis tool first. This tool allows the airport to identify an estimated catchment area versus those of nearby competing airports, using inputs such as airfare, air trip time, and surface transportation travel time and cost. The airport can explore various scenarios to explore the theoretically optimal market for proposed (new) air services. • Conduct a quick analysis under a limited budget If an airport intends to conduct a quick catchment area analysis/review, but under a limited budget, the airport is advised to adopt some easy but effective methods as introduced in the Customer Survey tool. By collecting passenger information regarding their origin within the airport’s region, the airport can use the Catchment Visualization Tool to estimate the airport’s catchment.

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The catchment area of an airport encompasses areas where passengers are more likely to use the subject airport, even when there are other airport options in the vicinity.

ACRP Web-Only Document 56: Toolkit for Establishing Airport Catchment Areas, from TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Program, comprises various analytical tools, such as the Travel Utility Analysis tool, that enable airport industry practitioners to calculate the likely responses of travelers to different market and operational inputs, thus forecasting potential catchment areas for airports.

Supplemental to the report are three case studies: Case 1: Akron-Canton Airport (CAK), OH; Case 2: Ontario International Airport (ONT), CA; and Case 3: Albert J. Ellis Airport (OAJ), NC.


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