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The Global AirRail Awards 2017 ceremony took place in Brussels on Tuesday 14th of November, during the annual Global AirRail Conference organised by the Global AirRail Alliance and co-hosted by the Airport Regions Conference and Brussels Airport Company. 

The GARA awards seek to raise awareness of partnerships between airports, airlines, railways and other ground transport operators to improve experience of people travelling to and from airports.

"New mobility technologies are emerging fast and changing the entire culture of travel. For public transport to stay competitive in this fast pace world, all the operators, whether in air or on the ground, need to come together and find the best way to join up their services to customers. Through the Global AirRail Awards we want to recognise innovative thinking and partnerships that contribute to the future mobility," Director of the Global AirRail Alliance Milda Manomaityte said.

Winners were announced in seven categories.

AirRail Technology

This award is designed to recognise the best technology solution that has the greatest impact to business, improving services on air-rail journeys.

Ethos Farm & Greater Anglia - Train BrApp for Stansted Express
A new colleague specific application that provides daily briefing and communication platform to employees as well as live daily operational updates and during times of disruption.


From left: Léa Bodossian, Secretary General of Airport Regions Conference; Andrew Camp, Commercial Director of Greater Anglia; Sally Alington and Mat Garner, Founders of Ethos Farm; Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance

Marketing Campaign on the Year,

This award is dedicated to recognising the most creative and successful marketing campaigns in the air-rail sector.

Flytoget - Travel Guarantee
Due to Flytoget's consistent punctuality, the travel guarantee is an important but very little known feature. The marketing campaign illustrated the exceptional train service punctuality and the value of travel guarantee when unforeseen events do happen.


From left: Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance; Alain Vandenplas, Mobility and Intermodality Manager, Brussels Airport Company; Philipp Engedal, CEO of Flytoget.

Customer Service Excellence

The Customer Service Excellence award looks for the best examples of delivering an enjoyable and stress free journey from air to rail.

MTR Corporation Limited
To increase customer satisfaction MTR's Airport Express Line has conducted a Journey Mapping exercise, identifying key areas for improvement. This resulted in a sharp increase on both service quality and passenger satisfaction ratings.


From left: Liam Henderson, Founder of Transporting Cities, Karen Chan, Manager Sales & Airport Express Marketing and David Chan, Operations Manager Airport Express Line at MTR Corporation Limited; Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance

Travelport Project of the Year

This award is given to a project or an initiative that is contributing greatly to future air-rail services, improving customer experience or engaging with local communities.

A railway extension connecting Malpensa Airport Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 opened in December 2016 and in the first six months nearly one and a half million passengers have used the service. The link up represents the first phase of the Malpensa North Rail Access Project.


From Left: Christoph Klenner, Secretary General of the European Technology and Travel Services Association; Paolo Mantegazza, Head of Asset Management, FERROVIENORD; Massimo Corradi, Real Estate and Funding Programmes Manager at SEA Milano. 

AccesRail Integrated AirRail Partnership of the Year

This award celebrates successful partnerships between operators, suppliers and organisations, who work together to create seamless air-rail journeys.

Austrian Airlines, ÖBB and AccesRail
The partnership was established to implement the intermodal travel in the Austrian market, enabling to book train and flight segments via airline distribution channels.


From left: Oddbjorn Taraldsvik, Director Business Development at AccesRail/ACP Marketing; Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance; Oliver Kuselbauer, Partner Manager at Austrian Airlines; Michael Forstner, CEO at City Air Terminal Betriebsgesellschaf; Julianna Moats, Principal Systems Engineer at WSP.

North Star AirRail Link of the Year

The North Star Air Rail Link of the Year award recognises the service with best performance results and highest overall impact to the air-rail market over the past year.

Heathrow Express
Effective communication with customers during disruption time, new off-peak pricing strategy and partnerships with travel management companies helped Heathrow Express to achieve 9% ridership increase, 14% online sales growth and 97% overall customer satisfaction rate.


From left: Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance; Karan Suri, Pricing Manager and Fraser Brown, Business Lead at Heathroew Express; Richard Brown, Managing Director of North Star Consultancy. 

AirRail Personality of the Year

Personality of the Year award recognises the achievements of an individual who has delivered a great positive impact to improving and promoting air-rail journeys.

Per Thorstenson, CEO, Arlanda Express
Per is an inspirational leader for Arlanda Express and has created a strong culture of collaboration for his staff. Under Per's leadership Arlanda Express dares to be a little different and stand out while providing an exciting experience for millions of passengers.


From left: Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance; Per Thorstenson, CEO of Arlanda Express.

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GARA Brussels logo BRU

EVENTS: Brussels Airport has joined the annual Global AirRail Conference and Awards 2017 as one of the hosts. Each year the event discusses key challenges in providing multimodal access to and from airports, focusing on improving rail connectivity for passengers and employees.

Over the past few years, Brussels Airport has grown into a multimodal transport hub and an economic powerhouse in the heart of Europe, contributing 1.8% to the national GDP and with an added value for Belgium of EUR 3.2 billion.

Commercial passenger flights and cargo activities at Brussels Airport generate direct and indirect employment for 60,000 people.

“Brussels Airport aims to improve the connections between the various means of transport. The intermodal hub at Brussels Airport can be extended further with more trains and buses, and with a tram and bicycle network. This will give passengers and Airport Community staff more options for travelling to and from the airport, as well as transferring at the airport on the way to their final destination," says Alain Vandenplas, Mobility & Intermodality Manager of Brussels Airport Company.

"The airport will be making a major contribution towards better mobility for all commuters and other travellers in the region as a whole. As part of the Strategic Vision 2040, the airport has set itself a target that by the year 2040, 50% of the passengers and the Airport Community employees will come by public transport, bicycle or on foot, as compared with the current 30%. We are working with the government and the transport companies to give substance to this plan, but are also really looking forward to exchange ideas and discuss airport access with other industry leaders from around the world.”

The Global AirRail Conference and Awards is taking place in Brussels on 13-14 November and is a partnership between the Global AirRail Alliance (GARA), an organization promoting rail access to airports, and the Airport Regions Conference (ARC), an association of regional and local authorities across Europe with an international airport situated within or near its territory.

"I am very happy to welcome Brussels Airport as our hosts and grateful for their support in bringing the Global AirRail event to Brussels. The Airport is at the centre of our discussions on how to improve access for all of its users and we have set up a very engaging programme for our conference delegates," said Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance.

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EVENTS: The Global AirRail Alliance (GARA), an organization promoting rail access to airports, and the Airport Regions Conference (ARC), an association of regional and local authorities across Europe with an international airport situated within or near its territory, have partnered joining the 8th Global AirRail Conference and Awards and ARC’s annual meeting into a three day event.

Agenda at a glance

Day 1 – 13 November 2017 - will be dedicated to GARA meetings and discussions, focusing on rail links to airports

Day 2 – 14 November 2017 - will see joined GARA and ARC conference sessions and discussions, focusing on wider airport access issues. Global AirRail Awards will take place on Day 2.

Day 3 – 15 November 2017 - will be dedicated to ARC meetings and discussions, focusing on regional policies.

Call for speakers

We are now building the agenda for Day 1 and Day 2 and are inviting companies to contribute with presentations on these four key topics:

  • Major Air-Rail Projects
  • Technology and Innovation to improve air-rail experience or wider airport access
  • Major Airport Access Projects
  • Best Practice in Stakeholder Engagement

We are looking for “outside the box” thinking when delivering major air-rail and airport access projects, examples of collaboration and partnerships, forward thinking and new technology implementation. Please note that all presentations will be 10 minute long, to keep it focused and engaging. We are also open to any other suggestions that do not fit in the four categories.

Please send you presentation synopsis to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Not all suggested presentations will be included in the programme.


Entries for the Global AirRail Awards 2017 are now open. You can submit your projects here:

GARA Brussels Logo

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EVENTS: Global AirRail Alliance and global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright co-hosted the first Airport Access Ideas Forum in London on Wednesday 7th of June 2017.

The interactive ideas forum focused on challenges and opportunities related to the provision of seamless access to national and international airports around the world, improving customer experience and reducing carbon emissions.

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Participants looked at how new technology and the sharing economy is changing road access and car parking businesses at airports, as well as opportunities for public transport and airport operators to form partnerships in order to deliver non-aeronautical revenue, improved customer experience and business development.

Duncan Field, partner, Norton Rose Fulbright, commented: “The progressive growth in air passenger numbers has created challenges for operators globally in ensuring easy access to their airports, and has meant that future proofing airport developments has become increasingly important. We see this already in the UK with road and rail improvements playing a central role in current and proposed airport expansion projects but new technology, ranging from drones that can transport passengers and their luggage, through to the increasing use of software applications and big data, have the potential to transform how passengers access airports and to create new commercial opportunities.”

“Airport Access Ideas Forum is bringing together professionals from the aviation and ground transport industries at the highest levels. The event format has taken an interactive shape to include all participants and to drive a more engaging discussion and product demonstrations,” Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance said.

The post event report with the summary of discussions and recommendations to the industry will be released shortly.

Case Studies are available to download here:

Speakers at the Forum included

Pierre Becher, Head of Marketing, Distribusion Technologies
Distribusion Technologies launched its partnership with CarTrawler to expand airport bus offerings for airlines. The one-time integration adds pre-bookable rides of more than 100 airport and intercity bus carriers to CarTrawler’s ancillary revenue platform and will be merchandised to multiple airlines and 2,000 online travel retail partners.

John McGinty, Director, Public Transportation Partnerships, Mozio
Mozio recently launched its multimodal platform in Philadelphia, allowing individuals to compare, and book the airport rail line, on-demand, taxis, shuttles, and sedans all native on the same platform. It is the first major integration of public transit into the larger travel landscape. Mozio solicited the support of city leaders, the airport, the public transit agency, visitors’ bureau, and private suppliers.

Anita Neudeck, Senior Referent Innovation & Digitalization, Munich Airport and Geert Vanbeveren, Director Business Development Innovative Technologies Mobility Management, Siemens
Munich Airport and Siemens have developed an information service for passengers travelling from city centre to the airport, directly to the gate – and vice versa. The service offers guidance and indication of expected processing times at the airport, traffic jams on the road or delays on public transport. The service is based on Siemens SiMobility Connect, enabling integration of multiple mobility services like taxi, train, car-sharing, Lufthansa Airport Bus as well as real-time information on traffic.

Robert Cook, Managing Director, Blackstone Gates
Blackstone Gates has designed a global customer knowledge travel platform. This, together with smart data analytics, enables travel service providers a critical insight into a traveller’s preferences and context.

Clement Boussard, CEO, Stanley Robotics
Stanley Robotics has introduced France’s first automated valet service at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. No more wasting time finding a parking space. Passengers can drop off their cars close to the terminals, lock it and take the keys - the service does not need it. Once the car is ready, they just need to confirm the booking and Stan, the valet robot, comes to collect the vehicle and take it to a secure car park.

Nick Mallinson, Programme Manager, University of Warwick
Revolution Very Light Rail Vehicle project is developing a lighter, lower-cost, passenger friendly solution for linking heavy rail stations, airports and other hubs in the transport network to rural and suburban areas, in the first instance using segregated alignments to avoid inter-operability issues with conventional rail.

Mark Chestney, Head of Rail, Heathrow Airport and Dr. Chris Featherstone, Technical Expert, Heathrow Airport
ULTra Personal Rapid Transit is a centrally controlled synchronous system of light-weight guideway loops with offline stations, utilised by four-person, fully integrated, automated, battery-electric vehicles. It launched between Heathrow Terminal 5 and the Business Car Park in 2011. The system has been in full operation for over six years. Over 1.5 million journeys have carried over 2.3 million passengers.

Julianna Moats, Principal Systems Engineer, Rail Systems, WSP Group
A rail link between London Waterloo Station and Heathrow Airport has been on the Government’s major project radar for half a century. The difference between this proposal and all others which have come before, or come since: this is a regeneration project, not a rail link project. The London Borough of Hounslow commissioned WSP for a feasibility study for the southern rail access link.

Glyn Jones, CEO, Stobart Aviation
Since acquiring London Southend Airport, Stobart Group has invested over £140 million to transform it from a small regional operation catering for just 47,000 passengers annually, into a facility with capacity for five million annual passengers that has won Which? UK’s award for customer satisfaction three years running.

Priit Koff, Head of Corporate Communications and Business Development, Tallinn Airport
Rail Baltic is a high-speed railway project linking Tallinn (Estonia), Riga (Latvia) and Kaunas (Lithuania) to the Polish border, thus providing access to the 1435mm standard gauge railway network in continental Europe. This is part of the TEN-T North Sea-Baltic transport corridor to be completed after 2025. The first step towards the implementation of this project is the soon-to-be completed light rail/tram access to Tallinn Airport, scheduled to open for in August/September 2017.

Henrik Rothe, Senior Lecturer Air Transport Management, Cranfield University
Urban turbine is aiming to reduce the un-manned travel to and from airports by establishing a variety of innovative public transport systems and offering alternative uses for airports. This includes new job definitions and forms of their execution.

Alex Kirkwood, Associate Partner, Weston Williamson
Future sustainable cities will need to be built around efficient transport infrastructure. Environmental strategies and planning authority policies will become increasingly important if we are to achieve sustainable growth. Cities will be more attuned with nature, incorporating extensive natural landscape, reducing energy, water consumption and enhancing bio diversity.

Gavin Wicks, Head of Transport Planning, London City Airport
To become a Major East London transport hub London City Airport needs to create an interchange for international, national and local travel for people in London and the South-East. The Silvertown Crossrail station supports the Mayor’s vision for strategic growth by maximising the regeneration potential of the Royal Docks Area as well as providing faster links to key London employment areas, and unlocking more land for homes and businesses.

Notes to Editors

Global AirRail Alliance
The Global AirRail Alliance (GARA) is an international organisation that joins rail operators, airports, airlines and suppliers from around the world who work on creating seamless travel experience between air and rail. Global AirRail Alliance was set up to deliver dedicated, information and international events for the air-rail market mainly focusing on integration of rail with airports, recognising global trends in seamless travel infrastructure and information. The air-rail market is a leader in innovation and partnerships creating seamless travel, integrating different transport modes, innovating in e-ticketing and passenger information systems.

Norton Rose Fulbright
Norton Rose Fulbright is a global law firm. We provide the world’s preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. We have more than 3500 lawyers and other legal staff based in more than 50 cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Norton Rose Fulbright will combine with Chadbourne & Parke, a leading international law firm, during the second quarter of 2017. Norton Rose Fulbright's expanded practice will have more than 1000 lawyers in the US and 4000 lawyers worldwide.

Recognized for our industry focus, we are strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare.

Wherever we are, we operate in accordance with our global business principles of quality, unity and integrity. We aim to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of our offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.

Norton Rose Fulbright Verein, a Swiss verein, helps coordinate the activities of Norton Rose Fulbright members but does not itself provide legal services to clients. Norton Rose Fulbright has offices in more than 50 cities worldwide, including London, Houston, Toronto, Sydney and Johannesburg.
For more information, see

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GARA Brussels long logo notext

EVENTS: The Global AirRail Alliance (GARA), an organization promoting rail access to airports, and the Airport Regions Conference (ARC), an association of regional and local authorities across Europe with an international airport situated within or near its territory, have partnered to bring the 8th Global AirRail Conference and Awards to Brussels on 13-14th November 2017.

The annual Global AirRail Conference and Awards brings air-rail professionals from all over the world to discuss the passenger intermodality segment between air and rail including the physical infrastructure integration, innovations in travel booking and planning, and improving passenger experience.

“I am very happy to announce the partnership with ARC as the association brings together a wide range of expertise from air transport as well as local and regional governments,” Director of GARA Milda Manomaityte said.

“At this year’s event, I would like to focus the debate on the challenges the local and national governments will be facing with the arrival of new mobility services, implementing new legislations and working with airports to ensure seamless integration of different transportation modes to improve employee access and passenger experience.”

“I am particularly interested to hear the discussions on how this will impact rail access to airports, what measures rail operators will have to take to compete with new mobility providers and what partnerships can be formed to stimulate business growth,” Milda added.

Each year ARC explors two or three specific topics, ranging from training and employment gaps, to ultrafine particles, territorial marketing, or the noise issues. However, surface access to airports has been a constant concern for local and regional authorities and this year ARC is dedicating the discussions to airport access issues, focusing on economic, social and environmental impacts on airport regions.

“I am happy to welcome the global air-rail community to Brussels and look forward to creating links with the local and regional policy makers,” Secretary General for the Airport Regions Conference, Léa Bodossian said.

The Global AirRail Conference sessions will look at best practices in planning, building and operating rail links to airports, best marketing campaigns to ensure growth, innovations in customer experience at airports and air-rail links, as well as funding, policy and stakeholder engagement challenges.

The event will also host the annual Global AirRail Awards, recognizing the effort, best practices and results of the global air-rail community. The entries for the awards will open on 1st of June 2017 and close on 1st of October 2017. The winners will be announced during the awards ceremony in Brussels on 14th of November 2017.