The Airport Industry
In the United States (US) most of the airports are publicly owned utilities, thereby implying that they are legible for funding, both from the two sources; public and private. Those airports that are operating under the National Plan of Integrated Airport System receives grants from the state from the AIP. Airport collects flowage fees from FBO, irrespective of the selling organizations making losses or profits. Most commercial airports collect fees from airlines for terminals and gates among other services as well as passenger counts. On the same note, airports generate huge revenues from non-aviation land leases, charges on their cars that they rent out and fees for retail space.
Airports incur a lot of costs ranging from building expenses and the maintenance of airport related facilities. During the construction as well as the process of expanding airport infrastructure, there are other costs incurred such as supplier costs and maintenance of the assets among others. The major sources of funds for airports include Trust Fund set aside for Airport and Airway, Federal Fuels Taxes, State Fuels Taxes and the Airport Improvement Program (Lee, n.d.).
The entire leased federal airports must undertake a planning framework as defined in the Airports Act 1996, which calls for airports to come up with a Master Plan (MP) which wholly incorporates an Environment Strategy. In this case, an MP refers to a strategic vision for two decades by the airport site that is subject to renewal after every five years. In this case, the MP entails the future uses of land, permitted development and other impacts that are related to noise and environment.
There are different types of MP including airport layout plan (ALP), terminal area plan (TAP) and financial plan (FP). ALP encompasses an update to the MP with the purpose of reviewing some of the existing and long-term needs and updating the drawings that have been officially made. FP is purposefully meant for enhancing the understanding the transportation system within the airport and further developing an analysis on the current trends in the financial industry and the different ways through which they impact on the airport.
The capacity of an airfield is never constant; will always vary at different times of the day and night, or the year due to either physical or operational factors including airspace geometry, rules, and procedures set for controlling air traffic, weather and traffic mix. Airfield characteristics refer to the physical structure, composition, and layout of the runways and taxiways, which in all cases primarily determine the ability to accommodate various kinds of aircraft and the rate for handling them. The set rules and procedures for controlling the air traffic are intended mainly to ensure that high safety of flight and landing, are some of the essential factors determining capacity as well as the delay of an airfield. Therefore, in this case, to reduce delay, the organization should ensure that the set rules and procedures for controlling the air traffic are defined with the core objective of increasing safety; both during flight and landing, among other defined basic factors that determine the delay of an airfield. Airports should set an adequate number of meteorological conditions, with multiple possible patterns of use, with varying sustainable capacities.
Looking at the past events, what is happening now and what the future holds for the commercial services in the US, I am convinced that the future of the US airport industry bright. From the past two years, the industry has introduced the self-service concept, which in this case is perhaps the leading trend of the moment. The industry is making significant steps towards automation, particularly in line with passenger processing, where there is a widespread of online check-in as well as self-bag drops. Others in the same line include advancement in passenger screening technologies, real-time information, and low-cost carrier growth among others, which are the best opportunities through which the concerned individuals can make the industry better.
Lee, J. Airport-Airline Vertical Contract and Market Power in the U.S. Airline Industry. SSRN Electronic Journal. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2304024