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Analysis of European airports’ access and egress travel times

Within the scope of an European aviation research project, door-to-kerb and kerb-to-door times from and to European airports have been analysed. The results are being used to draw conclusions on the effect of airport access/egress times on the overall duration of air travel chains, since the European Commission’s Flightpath 2050 seeks to enable four-hours, door-to-door, intra-European travel.

The travel times have been retrieved by sampling Google Maps’ travel time data, using the Google Maps Distance Matrix API. Each airport was queried from an array of nodes, encircling the airport, at various distances, headings, weekdays, times of day, and modes of transport (that is automotive and public transport).

The results show that travel distance, time of day, and – especially – mode of transport have the most severe impacts on airport access/egress travel speeds. Public transport’s speeds are consistently lower and its routes, simultaneously, longer when compared to driving. Within an exemplary air travel trip involving an airport, which is 50 kilometres away, passengers would already spend 90 minutes driving to and from the airport. The time required for airport access/egress would even amount to 3.5 hours when using public transport.

It is, thus, evident that transport infrastructure and especially public transport services from and to airports may require enhancements. In light of ever-increasing urbanisation and the subsequent rise of traffic congestion, novel transport concepts and technologies are required to converge on the European Commission’s goal of enabling four-hours, door-to-door, intra-European air travel.

  • Visualisation of European airport’s average access/egress times: The maps illustrate the average airport access/egress times for Amsterdam airport. Travel times for driving, public transport, and their difference are mapped and compared to other major European airports.Visualisation of European airport’s average access/egress times: The maps illustrate the average airport access/egress times for Amsterdam airport. Travel times for driving, public transport, and their difference are mapped and compared to other major European airports.
  • Average travel speeds to London Heathrow airport throughout a week: The average travel speeds from various locations in London to London Heathrow airport, as shown above, illustrate the significant  impact of time of day and weekday on travel speeds.Average travel speeds to London Heathrow airport throughout a week: The average travel speeds from various locations in London to London Heathrow airport, as shown above, illustrate the significant impact of time of day and weekday on travel speeds.