Events News

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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:

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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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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.

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GERMANY: Amadeus and Distribusion Technologies signed a partnership agreement, bringing over 300 airport bus transfer and intercity bus operators in 2,500 destinations to Amadeus travel seller network.

A single gateway to all this content means travel sellers can easily broaden their offer, attract new types of customers and drive revenues, all while forgetting about costly one-to-one setup and commercial relationships.

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With content, search, booking, payment, ticketing and settlement capabilities covered, travel agencies can focus on adapting this new offer to travellers, and in turn, bus companies will be more visible to new customers in new channels, ultimately driving sales growth. Initially, Amadeus travel sellers in central, eastern and southern Europe will be able to access Distribusion bus content with more across the world expected to join soon.

Nearly one billion passengers per year use scheduled ground transport to get to and from the airport – made up primarily by 430 million passengers in Europe and 504 million in Asia-Pacific.

According to Distribusion, most of these bookings are made independently from the flight, directly with the bus and rail transport provider, which adds a layer of inconvenience for passengers when planning their journey.

“Travelling by bus is an attractive choice for many, but could be for many more. Bus operators now have a complete package to unlock growth and make a significant footprint in the global travel industry. Our two partnerships with Distribusion could not come at a better moment, when new entrants and market dynamics are pushing towards improving the overall offer and experience” said Antoine de Kerviler, Head of Rail & Ground Travel at Amadeus. “Imagine booking a convenient airport bus transfer on top of your flight and a weekend getaway by rail – all on the same itinerary through your travel retailer – this is door-to-door travel at its best.”

Julian Hauck, Founder & CEO of Distribusion said: “travel sellers are paying more attention to bus travel to continue enriching their offer to travellers, and have been longing to add this kind of content in a simple, standardised and effective way for some time. The combination of our market leading bus content with Amadeus’ travel seller network will open the door to new travellers. We’re really looking forward to this new phase with Amadeus.”

Distribusion is the leading global distributor (GDS) for airport transfer and intercity bus rides, enabling travel retailers to connect with airport transfer and bus operators worldwide. The portfolio of 4 million bus rides of 300+ operators to 2,500+ destinations and 200+ airports make Distribusion the market leader in Europe.

Distribusion will take part in the Airport Access Ideas Forum, taking place in London on 7th of June, discussing why bus transfer is relevant for airport passengers, and what technical barriers & challenges exist today to link bus with air travel.

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