A Quarterly Publication of the Airport Consultants Council
The Next Generation LAWA Director Lindsey
Named ACC 2008
of Rent-A-Car (RAC) Aviation Award of
Operations Award to be presented
at the 30th ACC
Annual Conference in
St. Pete Beach, Florida
November 11, 2008
ent-A-Car (RAC) facilities are a critical aspect of an airport’s Gina Marie Lindsey, Executive Director
operations. They can make or break the airport experience of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA),
has been selected as the recipient of the
for travelers. Travelers expect convenient service, including
ACC 2008 Aviation Award of Excellence.
clear wayfinding and ease of renting and returning vehicles. However, She was chosen among a group of impres-
these demands run counter to trends taking place at many terminals, sive candidates because of her active and
persuasive commitment and dedication
where security and increased air operation needs are already maxing
to improving airports.
out the space available for RAC operations.
The 2008 ACC Awards Committee, led
The demand for rental car services is also growing. Despite disrupted growth pat- by Chair Jack Norton of Lea+Elliott,
terns due to September 11th, increasing air traffic has significantly returned rental Inc. and Vice Chair Woodie Woodward
car activities close to initial projections. It is apparent that with an increase of air of Woodward and Associates, noted that
travel volume and car rentals, many airports and their consultants need to evaluate Lindsey continually embraces difficult
the growing importance of an airport’s landside, and pay particular attention to tasks that will ultimately better serve
their RAC facilities. Done right, efficient RAC designs and operations can enhance both the public and the aviation industry
the traveling experience for airport patrons and help the airport achieve significant as a whole.
operational and sustainability gains.
The purpose of the ACC Award of
Where Have We Been? Excellence is to recognize the extraor-
Historically, airport rental car facilities were located adjacent to a terminal, with dinary contributions of an individual,
a counter area adjacent to baggage claim and linked to individual counter space. group or organization to the aviation in-
See RAC on page 16 dustry and the general public. In addition
to the nominees’ current contributions,
the ACC Awards committee considers
a candidate’s lifetime of achievements
Edward Balkin, Director of Design, Coover-Clark & Associates, Inc.
See LINDSEY on page 11
page 4 page 6 page 10
GoinG GlobAl tHe Role of QA PHoto Review
witH in ASSuRinG of ACC/AAAe
exPoRt-imPoRt PRojeCt SuCCeSS SymPoSium
RAC continued from page 1
These spaces were within view of exit doors and From a “design” standpoint, clear wayfinding » As facility costs increase, the size and
were a few hundred feet from parked rental cars, and increased level-of-service for the customer requirements of CONRAC are more
as well as return lanes. While this arrangement are key. An airport’s evaluation of sites for carefully scrutinized for both interior
is preferred for customer clarity and convenience, RAC facilities is complicated due to terminal (customer service) and exterior (vehicle,
in many airports it has fallen victim to terminal expansions, parking space requirements, im- service center) areas.
expansion needs and rental car volumes over provements to failed and poor infrastructure and
the past 20 years. new customer service amenities. A CONRAC » Transportation costs associated with
site needs sufficient land to accommodate the bus operations and fuel have dramati-
In response to this shortage of available space existing market activity and 25 plus years cally increased. While the Automated
next to the terminal, rental car companies growth capacity. People Mover (APM) is much preferred
shifted to self-contained operations, which for customer convenience, the price has
generally require individual company buses It is critical that the rental car industry be now increased in many instances to an
to compete for available curb side space. They involved. This industry has valuable insights excess of $100m per mile. These costs
also often result in long trips for passengers and when it comes to evaluating and determining cannot successfully be translated to cus-
more cumbersome experiences when picking up exactly how these facilities operate. Clearly, tomer facility charges. As a result, the
and returning cars. Although this arrangement one of the primary goals of the CONRAC is shortest connections need to be provided,
offers improved vehicle servicing, it is often time to provide what is best for the customer, while where possible.
consuming and less convenient for travelers. being respectful of operational requirements
for each rental car company. To ensure this » Operations and Maintenance (O&M)
The most recent, new approach is the goal is fulfilled, rental car companies must be costs have increased with energy and
Consolidated Rental Car Facility (CONRAC), involved early in the design process. They will fuel costs. Bus operations for the
where competing companies share buses or help to integrate economically feasible options transport of rental car customers have
people movers, customer services, and sometimes that respect traffic congestion, expansion, walk- become a burden to the RAC industry.
service facilities and associated amenities. ing distances, wayfinding clarity, and overall Sustainability, “green” solutions, and
customer service within all existing airport more environmentally respectful systems
Design Considerations for CONRAC improvements. and materials must be evaluated.
Today, there is no standard approach that works Lessons learned from the early CONRAC So, how have these lessons manifested them-
for every airport. So what should consultants schemes include: selves at airports?
consider when examining these important
KANSAS CITy INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT — CONSOLIDATED RENTAL CAR FACILITy
below Grade bus road entry kansas City international Airport — Clarity of way
finding and visibility of counters from the lobby and
entrances becomes critical in consolidated facilities,
inviting and skylit interior is a warm as well as “terminal quality” finishes
greeting to customers arriving at a
weather protected pick-up and drop-off Photographs courtesy of Michael Spillers
16 Consulting, Summer 2008
Example CONRAC Facilities Emerging RAC Design Considerations ➤ Ancillary Structures
Kansas City International Airport’s 1996 RAC Although the model for the design and develop- Hotels, people movers, terminal expan-
scheme occupied 90 acres and included a 5-mile ment of future consolidated rental car facilities sions and roadway improvements should
round-trip bus route. Their current CONRAC is continually changing, there are a few factors be considered when forecasting rental car
configuration, opened in May 2007, is on a site that currently play an important role in both demand, particularly at larger airports.
immediately adjacent to the airport. Although it the economic and functional success of these
did not eliminate the requirement for busing, the facilities regardless of their configuration. ➤ Size
new location significantly decreases the number Each rental car facility should be a
of buses required, which decreases the size of correct “fit” to the existing airport and its
the bus maintenance facility. It also reduces the ➤ Safety microclimate.
lobby by 50 percent; reduces the site area, which Safety is an ever-present concern for the
allows for vertical future expansion; depresses public good. It remains a primary goal for ➤ Sustainability & Cost Efficiency
the bus drop-off below grade allowing for better all such facilities and their interface with Sustainability, respect for operational
service; and accommodates a future APM once other airport functions. costs, and selecting the correct facility
a Fourth Terminal is built and the existing for the future are critical to the success
Terminal improvements are completed. ➤ Convenience of each facility. Particular adjustments for
Convenience to the customer and the ability each community, including size, should be
Similarly, a 2001 scheme at Louis Armstrong to easily rent and return a vehicle is critical. expected and respected. Solar orientation
International Airport, New Orleans, LA, oc- If possible, the solution needs to allow should be studied meticulously and
cupied 80 to 90 acres and included a 4-mile for an acceptable walking distance to the garnished within the architectural design,
round-trip bus route. A CONRAC facility vehicle, even if this requires some sacrifice if it is possible, to allow for energy savings
is currently under study that will eliminate in service center and vehicle maintenance. and aesthetic embellishments. In addition,
buses entirely. It will provide customer access materials and building systems should be
to the rental car facility by an elevated moving ➤ Service studied carefully to allow for long-term
walkway which decreases the customer travel Service as well as support vehicles must energy savings for the life of the building.
time significantly. This layout conforms to the operate seamlessly in the overall master
overall master plan which concurrently addresses plan. It is important that the CONRAC or Conclusion
short- and long-term parking, and improves the other RAC configurations be compatible Integrating RAC operations into landside opera-
airport’s overall wayfinding, customer services with all other airport operations. tions is a win-win for the airport and the RAC
and use of sustainable materials. customer.
Successful Rent-A-Car facilities and services
enhance customer service and generate revenue
to support airport improvements. Integrated
and shared RAC operations save costs and
help achieve sustainability goals. Overall, well-
designed RAC facilities enhance the travelers’
experience and the airport’s image.
kansas City international
Airport — Consolidated
Rental Car facility Site Plan
Coover-Clark & Associates is a commercial
architecture and design firm based in Denver
that specializes in high-end, national projects
for aviation and transportation, higher
education, government and military, and
retail and commercial facilities. For more
information, visit www.coover-clark.com.