Airport Car Park Optimization

To optimize car park revenue, airport operators have shifted their focus from infrastructure (e.g., economy parking, short-term parking) to customer segmentation over the past 10-15 years. We have been at the heart of this journey, helping clients for many years develop coherent families of parking options ranging from “premium” products such as valet parking, priority parking spaces to more leisure-focused offerings such as “Weekender” packages and remote, uncovered parking. The benefits of this to airport owners and customers have been profound.

However, ground transport at airports is evolving rapidly, threatening established models.

  • Rideshare and new mobility solutions are threatening short-term revenue.
  • The longer term future of ground access is uncertain — airports need to build strategies and infrastructure now that are robust to the likely arrival of CAVs and new private and public transport models.

L.E.K. helps clients optimize performance at their current airport car parks through a superior understanding of customer needs and effective competitive positioning. We leverage consumer research and scenario models to evaluate alternative competitive strategies, as well as sophisticated utilization models to understand the implications of alternative customer strategies on peak asset utilization, and daily revenue per bay.

We also work with airports and other infrastructure owners on their long term ground transport asset strategy, addressing questions such as:

  • Should I build bays now or will they become redundant?
  • What new public transport models are emerging and how should the airport respond?
  • What business models and partnerships will prepare me for a “post-parking” world?
  • Should we invest in rail?

Airport Car Park Successes

U.S. airport parking strategy: A city government with parking oversight at a major U.S. airport suffered declining parking revenues thanks to increased competition. We evaluated the performance of all parking products, segmented the customer base, and put together a set of differentiated products to help maximize return on assets and cash flow.

Car park yield management: We helped a major European airport group increase its car park revenue. Through a detailed quantitative research program and revenue modeling, we defined for each airport the appropriate yield management strategy, comprising pricing, ticket types and restrictions, capacity allocations and pre-entry lead time approach by season and day of the week.

Australian airport car park strategy: A major Australian airport faced significant capacity constraints in its car parks and was losing share to off-airport car park products and other transport modes. We reviewed the airport’s current parking operations, segmented the customer base, and assessed direct and indirect competition to develop a forward-looking car park strategy. Our client gained better insight about how to target specific customer segments through pricing and product differentiation, boosting per-passenger income by more than 20%.

Long term ground transport scenario planning: We worked with a leading airport to develop its long-term public transport strategy, identifying the appropriate scenarios for alternative mobility solutions, their impact on forecourt and precinct access and the financial impact. Our analysis and recommendations informed the development of infrastructure and solutions, and the optimal participation model.

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