Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices. Topic S07-02. Strategies for Airport Passenger Access and Mobility

Many airport terminal facilities are at the end of their useful life, and airport managers are developing projects to renovate them to current standards and passenger needs. At the same time, the expected doubling in airline travel demand over the next 20 years will put continued pressure on airports to ensure passenger access and mobility, including those travelers with disabilities and others with access or functional needs (DAFN). All airports have responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). With increasing air travel, ensuring access and mobility to all travelers is not just a matter of compliance but one of customer service. A key enabler of universal access and mobility is providing useful information to airport users before and during travel. This synthesis focuses on availability and communication of information, particularly related to airport and airline practices that assist users to maximize their cognitive and sensory abilities to navigate and use airport services, programs and facilities. When considering traveler access and mobility at airports, information about movement, waiting and wayfinding are typical categories of assistive research. Information about movement considers transition between airport boundary and aircraft and includes walking, mobility aids, and other mobility conveyances. Information about waiting considers arrival, departure and connecting data and assistance, passenger amenities, drop off and pickup, and waiting area attributes. This compilation of current practice should focus on movement and waiting since wayfinding guidance and tools are provided by other ACRP reports. The audience for this report includes airport staff responsible for implementing enhancements to maximize cognitive and sensory abilities, and community-based organizations that provide services for travelers. This synthesis will document the current state of the practice and provide an overview of resources available to help airports of all sizes address the challenges of improving accessibility and mobility. Information gathered and compiled in a concise report includes, but is not limited to: (1) Existing literature resources relating to availability and communication of information required by ADA and other related DAFN regulations (e.g., list of FAA advisory circulars, ADA, ACRP and other guidance) (2) Existing literature on mobility and access practices involving communication of information. (3) Data collection via interview or survey from airlines, industry organizations, and airports (range of airport sizes/NPIAS categories) with experience in communicating information that assists users to maximize their cognitive and sensory abilities to navigate and use airport services, programs and facilities (4) Case examples derived from interviews that showcase innovative strategies to communicate information, and documented with photos, checklists, websites, apps and other relevant information. (5) Information about benefits, limitations and lessons learned from implementing strategies. (6) Brief listing of current directions in mobility and access that are may not yet be implemented but are envisioned or under development. (7) Gaps in practice, future needs and further research. Data collection should include a minimum of nine US airports (three each small, medium and large hubs); five US air carriers with a mix of exclusive and common use terminals; and three or more organizations representing airport users requiring cognitive or sensory assistance that can provide strategies used in other industries.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 11-03, Topic S07-02

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Staba, Gail

  • Performing Organizations:

    Indiana University, Bloomington

    Bloomington, IN  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Cole, Shu

  • Start Date: 20180925
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01659860
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 11-03, Topic S07-02
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Feb 12 2018 3:03PM