Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Passengers' Airport Choice

Gelhausen, Marc Christopher (2007): Passengers' Airport Choice. Published in: Proceedings of the Aachen Aviation Convention (AAC) 2007 (2007): pp. 41-51.

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Abstract

Modelling airport choice of passengers has been a subject of interest for air transport scientists and airport managers already for a while. Wilken, Berster and Gelhausen have reported of a market segment specific model approach to airport choice in Germany in a paper entitled "Airport Choice in Germany - New Empirical Evidence of the German Air Traveller Survey 2003" presented at the Air Transport Research Society World Conference 2005 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In continuation of the analysis of airport choice, based on the evidence coming from the data of the survey mentioned, this paper deals with a model of combined airport and access mode choice in Germany by market segment.

The question arises why to model airport and access mode choice simultaneously. The underlying hypothesis is that airport and access mode choice are closely interrelated. Air travellers typically have a strong preference to choose the nearest airport as the aforementioned survey reveals. In Germany, 67% of the air travellers choose on average the nearest airport, however, travel time not only depends on distance covered, but also on the accessibility of fast access modes, such as for instance high speed intercity trains, to reduce travel time. Access time and access cost play a major role in airport choice, which in turn depend on access mode choice. The availability of access modes is again airport specific. Because of the strong dependence of airport and access mode choice on each other a combined model approach seems more sensible than two separate models. The combined approach allows including the aforementioned interrelations.

This paper presents a combined airport and access mode choice model based on a nested logit approach, first presented at the Air Transport Research Society World Conference 2006 in Nagoya, Japan. It is called a "generalized nested logit model for airport and access mode choice" as it is not restricted to specific airports or a certain number of airport and access mode combinations, but allows to evaluate airport plans like the future Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport (BBI) in the southeast of Berlin or the introduction of new access modes, like a direct high speed intercity train access at already existing airports as this was the case between Cologne and Frankfurt airport in 2002. The case study concluding the paper is a modified excerpt of a study dealing with different future scenarios relating to airport and access mode choice in the Cologne region conducted by the author.

As a means to achieve a general applicability of the model airports have been grouped into “airport categories”. Airports are categorised from a demand-oriented point of view to form clusters of homogenous airports regarding their general picture of their flight plan.

The model is of particular interest for airport managers as well as high speed rail providers since it shows the dependence between the market share of an airport and access mode combination and its quality regarding their attributes, e.g. travel time, travel cost and weekly flight frequency to a given destination.

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