Airport car parking strategy : lessons from the non-airport sector
Despite September 11th 2001, many international airports are operating close to capacity, a problem that is likely to become more acute given the projected long-term growth in air traffic. This growth is likely to have major implications on runway, terminal and surface access capacity, infrastructure which is already experiencing constraints. The area of surface access is as much, if not more an issue in terms of employees accessing the airport as it is for passengers. Typically, one third of access traffic can be attributed to employees. Employees represent a particular problem for airports in terms of surface access due to the frequent, peak hour nature of trips made and their higher usage rates of the car compared to passengers. A range of initiatives exist to encourage the use of modes other than the private car by employees but overall these measures tend to be ‘soft' in nature and one generally has to look to the non-airport sector to see examples of more innovative ‘harder' initiatives such as financial incentive and disincentive car parking measures direct to employees. This thesis utilises a series of carefully selected interviews and focus groups at Heathrow Airport and three best practice non-airport organisations, underpinned by a process grounded in the concept and methodology of best practice benchmarking, to suggest areas where BAA, and potentially airport authorities around the world, could learn from other organisations in the area of employee surface access and specifically car parking . It is concluded that there are four key areas airports should focus on to explore the issues surrounding the implementation of a car parking charge or car parking cash out direct to employees, namely: the use of a package approach; a requirement for top management support; gaining acceptance from employees, and; the issues surrounding the process of implementation. The thesis contributes to knowledge in a number of areas, predominantly the use of benchmarking in the area of car parking and the airport sector, an industry which has thus far not adopted the technique to any great extent.