Designing Airport Terminals for Transfer Passengers

by Richard de Neufville, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., and Chmn., Tech. and Policy Program, MIT, Cambridge, Mass.,
Ignazio Rusconi-Clerici, (A.M.ASCE), Principal; Tekne-URC, Milan, Italy,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 6, Pg. 775-787

Document Type: Journal Paper


This paper examines the question of how airport terminals ought to be designed to serve transfer passengers, an issue that designers generally neglect. The first section provides a procedure for calculating the number of transfers at airports in the United States, a statistic previously inaccessible; and shows how this figure has fluctuated at major hubs in recent years. These data also indicate that, as a general rule, the percentage of transfers at American airports equals the percentage of those that are on-line. The second section investigates the relative desirability of pier-finger and gate-arrival terminals, using the passengers' average walking distance as a criterion. Using the data on transfers, it appears that pier-finger configurations are preferable when the rate of total trasnfers exceeds 30%. With appropriate considweration of local circumstances and the fact that transfer rates can change significantly over a few years, this general rule can be used as one of the factors in choosing between designs for airport terminals.

Subject Headings: Airport terminals | Passengers | Statistics | United States

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