The National Academies

ACRP 07-16 [Final]

Airport Terminal Ancillary Service Spaces and Restroom Planning and Design

  Project Data
Funds: $349,837
Research Agency: Alliiance
Principal Investigator: Jens Vange
Effective Date: 2/28/2018
Completion Date: 8/27/2019



ACRP Report 130: Guidebook for Airport Terminal Restroom Planning and Design provides guidance for optimizing the customer experience and maintainability of restrooms.  Since the guidebook’s publication in 2015, customer needs and related regulations have continued to evolve, resulting in not only continued focus on airport restroom facilities but also ancillary service spaces (i.e., spaces that support passenger needs and comfort). There is currently no comprehensive guidance for planning and designing these ancillary service spaces.  In addition, a review of the latest practices in restroom facility design is warranted.  Research is needed to develop guidance for planning and designing ancillary service spaces and to update restroom planning and design guidance. 




The objectives of this research are to develop guidance for the planning and design of airport terminal ancillary service spaces and update the guidance provided in ACRP Report 130: Guidebook for Airport Terminal Restroom Planning and Design.


The guidance for airport terminal ancillary service spaces must address the following activities, functions, and spaces:

  • Service animal relief area/pet relief,
  • Lactation room,
  • Nursing mothers’ room,
  • Companion care/family room,
  • Adult changing table, and
  • Multi-sensory space.

Additional activities, functions, and spaces that should be considered include:

  • Health/urgent care;
  • Companion waiting areas;
  • Public showers;
  • Ceremonial foot-washing;
  • Worship space;
  • Meditation/quiet space;
  • Sleeping space;
  • Yoga;
  • Fitness area;
  • Children’s play areas;
  • Clothes changing stall; and
  • Other activities, functions, or spaces identified by the research.

The guidance should provide an overview of the following topics as they relate to the planning and design of restrooms and ancillary service spaces:

  • Relevant codes, regulations, and legal requirements (including anticipated changes),
  • Demographic trends,
  • Trends in the number and species of animals using service pet relief areas,
  • Changes in customer behavior/preferences,
  • New technologies and materials, and
  • Latest state of the practice/lessons learned at U.S. and international airports.

The guidance should help practitioners estimate requirements, identify and evaluate options, and select the most appropriate strategy to meet their unique situation.  The following considerations (at a minimum) should be covered:

  • Legal requirements;
  • Considerations for equitable access;
  • Forecast of needs, including peaking characteristics, dwell times, safety/security (e.g., smart phones);
  • Facility requirements and design considerations, including overall terminal layout, size, walking distances, local community needs, resource limitations, sustainability;
  • Wayfinding and signage, including considerations for the sensory-challenged;
  • Maintenance, including maintainability of facilities, space access, materials, refresh timeline;
  • Custodial considerations (e.g., cleaning vs. sanitation);
  • Real-time monitoring of facility condition (customer-facing and maintenance-facing); and
  • Public health issues—cleaning, sanitation, assisted technologies.


Research is complete.  The results are published as ACRP Research Report 226.

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