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HELICOPTER AIR SERVICE PROGRAM     441


"PART V. GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SOLUTIONS┬╣


"The nature of airport transportation as it has been depicted in this report has certain general implications for whatever solutions may be developed.

"Airport transportation faces the same basic dilemma confronting local transportation in general. The relatively low capacity, rubber-tired automobile dominates the local transportation picture at the present time, but projections into the future indicate the impossibility of road-building keeping pace with the proliferation of automobiles as we now know them. This projection coupled with the general decline of mass transit makes the serious consideration of alternatives appropriate.

"The problem immediately arises as to whether or not airport transportation can be considered apart from urban transportation in general. The answer seems to be that it can be in part and in part it can not. Trips between two airports in the same city and trips between the airport and a limited number of points of highly concentrated origins and destinations need not necessarily be involved in general urban transportation. It does not appear likely, however, that special purpose airport transportation can cope with the widely dispersed and thinly concentrated origins and destinations of the majority of airline passengers independently of general urban transportation. The patters reviewed in Part II consistently show that between 20 and 40% of the local origins and destinations of the total number of airline passengers are relatively highly concentrated in the downtown hotel district. The remainder, however, show no concentrated origins and destinations.

"A number of ways of improving airport transportation have been put forward. Among these are: improvements in airport access highways, connecting mass transit systems with the airport, establishment of downtown and/or satellite terminals providing specialized transportation service to and from the airport, and the use of helicopters for airport transportation. Some of the implications for each of these suggestions can be drawn from the general nature of airport transportation.

"Access Highway Improvements

"Almost any steps which can be taken to shorten the travel time of rubber-tired vehicles to the airport would lead to improvement in the situation. However, this is necessarily only a partial solution. Although it is probably necessary no matter what other steps are taken, improvement of airport roads and highways alone can not significantly change the over-all picture. The total effect on airport transportation of highway improvements will be a function of how much of the total highway system over which airport users travel are improved. From the origin-destination patterns presented earlier, it is clear that almost the entire road system would have to be improved to produced a significant total effect. But such a step is not within the province of anyone whose interest is in improving airport transportation--it is a general urban problem.

"Mass Transit

"At present mass transit plays an almost negligible role in airport transportation. Proposals are made from time to time for extending transit service--buses, subways, railroads--to airports. There has been little support for these suggestions because experience seems to show that the largest part of the air-traveling public will choose to travel by other modes if they are available. Why this is so appears to be related to several factors. Frequently mode changes are required in the mass transit trip; baggage on mass transit systems is inconvenient to handle; total trip times are apt to be slower; and transit systems are often the victims of negative attitudes.

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┬╣Airport Transportation, A Study of Transportation Means Between Airports and the Metropolitan Areas They Serve, Contract FAA/BRD-203. Human Sciences Research, Inc., Arlington, Va., 1961, pp 284-89.


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