An Indirect Flight from My Local Airport or a Direct Flight from an Alternative Airport: How Does Surface Access Influence the Decision?



An Indirect Flight from My Local Airport or a Direct Flight from an Alternative Airport: How Does Surface Access Influence the Decision?

Authors

D Johnson, B Matthews, S Hess, ITS, University of Leeds, UK; C Bielefeldt, Edinburgh Napier University, UK

Description

This paper reports on a study which seeks to improve our understanding of how people choose between different kinds of flight at competing airports, and how their choices are affected by access conditions.

Abstract

This paper reports on a study which seeks to improve our understanding of how people choose between different kinds of flight at competing airports, and how their choices are affected by access conditions. In particular, it investigates whether improving surface access to airports that are in relatively close proximity to one another leads people to avoid taking indirect flights from their nearest airport in favour of direct flights from an alternative airport. In addition, we are also interested to understand more about how people choose between surface access options.

The focus of the study is on Edinburgh Airport and Glasgow Airport, the two busiest airports in Scotland and only 67km apart from one another. With over 9m passengers and serving over 100 destinations, Edinburgh Airport proclaims itself to be Scotland?s busiest airport, whilst Glasgow, with over 7m passengers and serving over 80 destinations, is by far the second busiest. A number of destinations are served direct by both airports, such as Heathrow, Paris CDG and Amsterdam, but there are also a number of destinations for which it is only possible to fly directly from one or other of the airports. For example, there are direct flights from Edinburgh to Brussels, Frankfurt, Vilnius and Zurich but not from Glasgow. At the same time, there are direct flights from Glasgow to Plymouth, Reykjavik, Dubai and Lahore, but not from Edinburgh.

Most recent figures show that, for 2009, 70% of Edinburgh Airport?s passengers access the Airport by car or taxi, and that this figure is some 85% for Glasgow Airport. Furthermore, CAA data shows that most people use their nearest airport, with 61% of Edinburgh Airport?s domestic passengers and 58% of its international passengers coming from the Lothian region, and some 90% of Glasgow Airport?s domestic passengers and 63% of its international passengers coming from the Strathclyde region.

A stated preference survey amongst Edinburgh and Glasgow Airport passengers is being undertaken to investigate how improved rail links between the airports would, firstly, be expected to impact on people's choice between an indirect flight from their local airport versus a direct flight from the alternative airport, and, secondly, how improved rail connections to the airports would be expected to impact upon people's access mode choice and on airport choice (even where aspects of the flight, such as whether it is direct or indirect, are not different between the two airports). Using a customised SP design, systematically varying the attributes of the journey across a series of "games" we will analyse how the different attributes are traded off against each other. This will provide insights into how people are choosing between access modes, airports and direct versus indirect flights, and valuation estimates for people's willingness to trade.
The work is being undertaken as part of the EU FP7 project INTERCONNECT. The project is concerned with how to improve interconnectivity and the impacts of making such improvements. It is scheduled to complete in May 2011.

Publisher

Association for European Transport