Research Projects

Planning and Design of Low Cost Carrier Terminals

Develop a guide for architects, planners and airport operators on planning and designing new low cost carrier (LCC) terminal or converting existing ones to better serve low cost carriers. Supplement existing terminal planning resources and guidelines while identifying key differences between LCC and full service terminals.

Background (Describe the current situation or problem in the industry, and how your idea would address it.)

The success of Southwest Airlines in the domestic US market, has given rise to many airlines that offer service based on the low cost carrier (LCC) model. Today, low cost carriers not only successfully compete with full service (or legacy) carriers, but also dominate them in some markets. The LCC business model is based on keeping operating costs as low as possible to enable LCC airlines provide low fares compared to the legacy carriers. To achieve that, LCC airlines adopt cost cutting strategies such as: using aircraft of the same size and class, implementing processes to ensure quick aircraft turnaround at gates, operating from secondary airports to avoid congestion and negotiate cheaper airport facility use charges, among others. Due to the growth in LCCs in recent years, some large US airports are considering developing separate LCC terminals to cater for their passengers. A study to understand the planning and designing needs for these facilities will be beneficial to airport operators and consultants, especially architects and engineers.

Objective (What is the desired product or result that will help the airport industry?)

Develop a guide for architects, planners and airport operators on planning and designing new low cost carrier (LCC) terminal or converting existing ones to better serve low cost carriers. Supplement existing terminal planning resources and guidelines while identifying key differences between LCC and full service terminals.

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Idea No. 37