Aviation Management
Dr Tae Hyun (Danny) Kim
Dr Cheng-Lung (Richard) Wu

"The fundamental units for the measurement of the level of service (LOS) at airport terminals are per passenger space and waiting time. The IATA framework measures passenger density and waiting time separately, which could lead to conflicting measurements when passenger density and waiting time indicates different LOS levels. This thesis therefore aimed to develop a combined spatial and temporal LOS (ST-LOS) framework to guide terminal planning.

In the first stage of this thesis, a passenger survey was conducted, which involved the Repertory Grid Technique (RGT), a questionnaire, an experiment, and a semi-structured interview. Results showed that two-thirds of the participants perceived a decreased service quality associated with crowdedness at airports, and 85% of the RGT constructs indicated dissatisfaction with regard to space. 47% of the senior Australian participants previously complained about inter-person-spacing (IPS) at airports, while none of the senior Korean participants did so. The young Australian participants were tolerant of smaller personal space, 15cm smaller IPS on average, compared to the senior Australian participants. These findings revealed a moderating role of age and cultural background in the personal space demand of passengers, and suggested the necessity of an alternative LOS standard that incorporates the concept of perceived personal space as a spatial LOS attribute. 

In the second stage, computer simulation was used to test the proposed ST-LOS framework under different terminal and passenger settings. The ST-LOS was built by combining the temporal and spatial measurements and aimed to allow at least 50% of passengers to experience the optimum LOS. In the base simulation, 65% of passengers experienced the optimum LOS according to the ST-LOS. However, only 22% of passengers experienced the optimum LOS defined by the current IATA standard. To meet the IATA standard, the check-in queue width had to be reduced from 1.5m to 1.2m that differed from the recommended queue width (1.4m~1.6m) by IATA. A case study based on Sydney International Airport illustrated the application of the ST-LOS framework for LOS measurement, revealing that our ST-LOS framework better represents the LOS that passengers will experience, and that incorporating personal space demand of passengers will improve the LOS standard."