Airport Leakage and Market Study | Market Research Firm

As the competition grows in air travel: more low cost airline options, more regional airports, etc. it is becoming more crucial than ever to understand your market. By understanding your market this includes understanding profiles of those who use your airport, profiles of those who do not, drivers to usage, and drivers to non-usage. On top of this understanding market leakage is also critical. If the market is not using your airport, where are they going and why?

This can be addressed through an airport leakage and market study.

Losing traffic and business at your airport? Use a market survey or leakage study to understand profiles, key drivers to usage, and ways to improve.

What benefits does the study provide?

Typically, airports partner with Drive Research on these market research studies for a variety of reasons. Some of which we mentioned above. The objectives of the market research usually include understanding key drivers to choice of the airport as well as understanding usage of competitor airports. These and other secondary objectives are covered in the market research adding a more in-depth and qualitative look at drivers behind leakage. The investment in market research provides airports with definitive, measurable, and actionable feedback to guide next steps with strategies and messaging.

How does the process work?

Although the process varies from airport to airport, the market studies involve 1 of the following 2 steps, or both. Drive Research recommends using: (1) an intercept survey and/or (2) online survey to collect feedback from the market. Intercept surveys are reliable and in-the-moment. Online surveys are cost-effective, offer a quick turn around, are measurable, and gather quality data. The combination of these benefits from both methodologies creates a strong ROI for airport clients over other methodologies such as phone or mail surveys.

The on-site intercept surveys are conducted over a 2 to 4-day period. Drive Research interviewers survey passengers as they wait for flights to depart the airport. The surveyor team can also rent out a space in the community at a high-traffic location (e.g. a mall) to collect feedback.

The airport market research firm manages the set up and paperwork involved in securing a site location to collect feedback if the non-airport location is chosen. The intercept surveys last 2 to 3 minutes and include a maximum of 10 questions. This is administered via tablet with offline data collection capabilities.

The online market survey addresses the other key objectives of the study including questions recommended by our survey team based on past airport research experience as well as customized questions for the needs of the client(s). Screening criteria is determined for the survey which will qualify or disqualify interested respondents (e.g., usage of airports in past 12 months, age groups, etc.) Using a third-party administrator to manage the market research ensures honest and unbiased responses from the general community.

Once the survey document is finalized, it is programmed into our online survey software and tested. The online survey is PC, mobile, and tablet-friendly. The online survey takes 3 minutes to complete and includes up to 15 questions. The 3 to 5 minute threshold has been identified in the market research industry as a point of significant drop-off among respondents.

To recruit survey participants in the stated geographies, Drive Research uses a combination of an online panel and social media. Online panels are groups of individuals in the general population who have agreed to offer feedback in market research. Social media is an excellent way to advertise surveys and reach targeted geographies and a broad array of demographics.

It is recommended at least 100 surveys be collected in the targeted geography for the market study. This provides a +/- 10% margin of error. Additional survey completes increase reliability and allow more flexibility in analysis to run cross-tabs and comparisons.

How long does the study take?

The entire market research project takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks to complete. The first step is for Drive Research to schedule a kickoff meeting date and time with the airport. The kickoff and online survey set up takes approximately 2 to 3 days to complete, fieldwork lasts for 1 to 2 weeks, and reporting is completed in 1 week after fieldwork is closed for a total of 3 to 4 weeks.

What are the deliverables?

The comprehensive market research report for the surveys are compiled into a PowerPoint document and delivered in a PDF. The report includes detailed sections from each step of the market research. The airport also receives a full Excel CSV file of all survey responses.

The full market research report includes an executive summary of key themes, recommendations and action items, an infographic, respondent persona, and an appendix of detailed results including charts and graphs. This includes relevant cross tabs by market and other key categorizations or demographics.

Our airport market research firm debriefs with the client at the conclusion of the market research through a scheduled meeting. The report with any final edits and supporting files are sent to the client at the conclusion of the project.

Contact Us

Drive Research is an airport market research firm who partners with clients to conduct market surveys and leakage studies. We are a full-service market research firm located in Upstate New York.

You can contact our team 1 of 4 ways:

Message us on our website
Email us at
Call us at 888-725-DATA
Text us at 315-303-2040

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