Passenger Value of Time, Benefit-Cost Analysis and Airport Capital Investment Decisions

For the Transportation Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP), EDR Group (now EBP) led a team in the research for Project #03-19 (Web-Only Document 22), "Passenger Value of Time, Benefit-Cost Analysis and Airport Capital Investment Decision. This report offers an original and innovative contribution to the field with particular application to aviation, including demand forecasting, air service evaluation, air passenger behavioral responses to ground, airport terminal planning, design, and operations, effects of security screening, evaluation of airport capacity projects, etc.

The purpose of this research is to provide an up-to-date understanding of how recent airport developments, such as changes in security measures since 9/11, the proliferation of airside passenger amenities, and the adoption of new technology (e.g., Internet, mobile phone, wireless devices, and portable computers) have changed the way travelers value efficient air travel. For example, technology enhancements allow business travelers to conduct business on cell phones or computers while waiting for flights at airport gates.

What was once “wasted time” can now become productive time. Similarly, air travelers can now often find a wider array of restaurants, products, and services available near gates than in the past. At the same time, security procedures have introduced new sources of uncertainty in time required to get to gates. Altogether, these types of technological and service shifts have the potential to change the way aviation system users value airport services and the airport capital necessary to provide efficient travel.