For most airports today, Air Service Development (ASD) is a strategic imperative. Yet in an environment where airlines have far more service opportunities than they have aircraft to fly them, convincing airlines to add new routes and invest in your airport is more challenging than ever before. And airport leaders often feel, not without reason, that they are held accountable for results over which they have little control. 

Airports must rise to the challenge by adapting to the way airlines plan their networks today, retaining what works but, crucially, adding new and emerging practices designed to make it easier for airlines to advocate growth for your airport. 

ICF builds on the successful elements of standard ASD with ASD 2.0, offering emerging practices to put airports in control of their air service destinies.

Standard ASD ASD 2.0
Use of Industry Data


Persuade airlines how to plan their networks 

Understand how airlines currently view a market and what gaps an airport needs to close to increase airlines’ willingness to add capacity
 Approach to growing air service Provide a better climate for airlines to add service to drive target passenger demand
 Use of consumer insights research  -- Understand target customers’ views of your airport to design and drive plans to close the gaps found in the industry data
 Who's in control  Airlines  Airports

Since 1989, ICF has provided key ASD and marketing support services to airports around the world including:

  • Baseline studies to identify underserved markets and new route opportunities
  • Strategic marketing plans to attract targeted services
  • Leading data, market research methods, information, and software tools for network planning.
  • Air service route forecasts including scheduling, passenger and cargo traffic, revenue potential, operating costs, and profit margins
  • Marketing assistance presenting air service proposals at airline headquarters and industry conferences
  • Programs, including surveys and creation of community task forces, to identify business users and develop their support for targeted and newly established services
ASD 2.0

ICF’s ASD 2.0 provides additional benefits from emerging air service development practices to strengthen passenger preference for your airport. ICF’s ASD 2.0 helps airports get what they want by focusing their efforts on giving airlines what they want: stronger passenger demand for the service they already provide. ASD 2.0 accomplishes this with ICF’s customized Determine, Decide, Design, and Drive methodology.

  • Determine. We use industry data not to persuade airlines but to understand how they perceive an airport’s suitability for additional air service. Then, we layer in consumer insights research to understand their target passengers’ attitudes, perceptions, and preferences for the airport—both on its own and compared to any competing airports.
  • Decide. We integrate industry and consumer data to target what your airport can do to influence airline and passenger behavior, and agree on success metrics in advance so you can objectively assess if the plan is working even before additional service appears.
  • Design. Our aviation experts collaborate with our marketing strategists at ICF Olson to design an integrated ASD 2.0 plan to influence passengers and airlines over time. We’ll help you create an effective consumer marketing program to strengthen passenger preference and demand for your airport, and a coordinated carrier marketing and communication strategy to improve carriers’ appetites to increase air service.
  • Drive. When strategies fall short of expectations, most of the gaps come from execution. ICF can help you implement your ASD 2.0 plan through ongoing program management practices, stakeholder communication, and measurement and adaptation.
Standard ASD

ICF’s standard ASD takes a holistic approach that works together with all of your community stakeholders, applying decades of experience to develop a strategy that fits your needs.

ICF’s team works with you and your community to analyze available data and fully understand your region’s air travel demands, identify how a targeted airline can increase its profitability by expanding air services in your community, and develop a compelling story to position your airport to stand apart from the crowded field of airports vying for their attention. 

  • Takes the time to fully understand your region’s air travel demands, markets required, anticipated traffic in each market, and current Origin and Destination itineraries flown by market.
  • Builds a strategic air service priority list, identifying existing nonstop markets in need of protection and currently unserved markets in need of nonstop service. 
  • Helps your community and its leaders realize that air service can be one of the most powerful tools in economic development. 
  • Develops best-in-class presentation material and marketing collateral that convey to airlines, stakeholders, and the community why your airport is the preferred gateway in your region.