Events News

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947EVENTS: Daniel Huber, Managing Partner Strategic Design of Spirit Design, joins the Future of AirRail: PARTNERSHIPS event to talk about the importance of design in creating the perfect air-rail link.

"There is not one single means of transportation that is capable of optimally meeting all user needs. A mix of the various mobility offerings is, however, able to do such. One example is air-rail services," Daniel said to airrail NEWS.

"At Spirit Design, we think in terms of systems that encompass all means of transport. The future will feature the arising of a new paradigm. It will ensure the sustainability of transport, and will involve switching from mass transport to the transporting of a great number of individuals, each with highly particular needs. Our era is being shaped by this change in mobility requirements."

According to Daniel, this is being caused by the ongoing urbanisation of the world and by the ever-greater encumbrance by traffic. These trends are elevating the importance of environmentally-compatible public transport.

Spirit Design is a leading strategic design company headquartered in Vienna that was founded by its owners Daniel Huber and Georg Wagner in 1993.

Its work on holistic strategic designs causes Spirit Design to take intensive looks at trends and user-needs. The purpose of this consideration is to make public transport more environmentally-compatible, efficient and attractive to consumers.

cat cityairporttrain  created by spirit design-webIn 2000, this work led to Spirit Design's formulation of path-blazing train, metro and tram concepts. This was undertaken for Siemens Austria AG, and formed part of its Viaggio Comfort international rail platform. The highly successful ÖBB railjet went into service in 2008. It is operated by Austria's federal rail corporation, and now serves in Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Hungary.

Designed for the Austrian market, the WESTbahn has been in successful service since December 2011.

Another, important example is the CAT City Airport Train, which was put into operation in 2003. It links Vienna's airport and downtown. It was the first direct connection between the two destinations, and thus represented a milestone in the city's history.


"The value added by our designs stems from focusing on the user and her or his needs. In our designs, trains are, for instance, more than a way of getting from point A to point B. They are, rather, mobile personal spaces. Our designs enable passengers to experience these spaces as being secure and pleasant places, ones that are conducive to sensible utilisation."

"Encompassed in our process are means of transportation, ancillary services (such as reservation) and offerings (information and orientation systems), and the entire architecture of branding. Our focus on the requirements of production techniques and aerodynamics supports cost-effective manufacturing and resources-conserving operation," Daniel commented.

Daniel Huber will be speaking at the Future of AirRail: PARTNERSHIPS conference, taking place on 15-17 May at HOLM, Frankfurt Airport. The event is organised by the Global AirRail Alliance and co-hosted by Fraport, Lufthansa, Deutsche Bahn and the Home of Mobility and Logistics (HOLM).

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Birmingham ChamberEVENTS: Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, representing around 3,000 businesses in the West Midlands area, is officially endorsing the UK AirRail: Connecting for Growth conference, taking place in Birmingham on 14 November this year.

Aviation and Rail growth policies are high on the political and business agendas in UK. Seamless integration of both transport modes is just one part in an aim to create a door to door travel solution.

There are 20 airports in the UK with more than 1 million passengers a year and 14 of UK airports are connected with rail.

UK AirRail: Connecting for Growth conference will look at ways to improve passenger experience on existing air-rail links throughout the UK and what practical measures can be taken today to help big projects in the future.

The conference is hosted by Birmingham Airport and now officially supported by the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce.

"The Chamber works closely with Birmingham Airport to ensure that it is able to expand and grow its business and better serve the regional business community. The Chamber believes that Birmingham Airport is the answer to the over-heated aviation sector in the south east. Indeed the Chamber has made it clear to the Department for Transport that with HS2 it will be as easy to fly to Birmingham and travel by High Speed Rail to London," Chief Executive Jerry Blackett said.

Jerry Blackett will deliver a welcoming speech to the conference delegates and discuss the significance of transport being an enabler of an economic vision, the importance of integrated transport and long-term planning, and the difference private sector investment can make.

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Global AirRailThe annual Future of AirRail conference, organised by the Global AirRail Alliance, is changing its name to reflect its international profile. From now on, the event will be called the Global AirRail conference.

"We wanted to reflect the global profile of our annual three day event and also join-in the brand with our regional "UK AirRail" events and future events covering different regions around the world," Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance commented on the name change.

The next Global AirRail: Customer Experience event will take place in Oslo on 14-16 May 2014 and is hosted by the Oslo Airport Express Flytoget. The event will focus on improving customer experience via new initiatives, marketing, modern technologies and customer engagement.

In 2015 the Global AirRail event will take place in May in Toronto, hosted by UP Express, a dedicated airport rail link from downtown to the Toronto Pearson International Airport, currently under construction. The link will open in spring 2015 in time the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.

The Global AirRail events attract airports, airlines, rail operators and suppliers from around the world. Each year it covers different topic and includes presentations about air-rail projects, new initiatives and policies to improve seamless air-rail operations. Part of the event is the Global AirRail Awards dinner and ceremony, created to recognise the best practice in this growing market.

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2014CHINA: airrail NEWS has become a Media Partner of the 2nd China Airport Development Summit 2014 that will be held on 17-18 April in Shanghai, China. The Summit attracts airport operators, government authorities, information, technology and security systems developers, airport planners, construction and consulting companies. The Summit is supported by the Civil Aviation Administration of China, Airports Council International and the China Academy of Civil Aviation Science and Technology.

In 2012 China's airports served over 679.772 passengers, 9.5% more than the previous year. According to the "12th Five Year" plan (released in 2011) of the Civil Aviation Department, by 2015, civil airports will cover more than 81% of the total of counties and cities, covering more than 83% of the population and more than 94% of the GDP.

The plan envisions existing airports' improvements and construction of new regional airports. An important role in aviation capacity enhancement is laid on the integrated transport systems. According to the plan, the future transport will be "no intercharge" and "centralized", with some airports serving as hubs. Rapid rail connections to airports are planned for the state capitals and other major cities.

China Airport Summit

The 2nd China Airport Development Summit 2014 will look at these issues through interactive discussions, case analysis, one-to-one meetings and during networking events.China's civil aviation industry also has to address some important challenges, such as security of small and medium sized airports, increasing capacity at international hub airports and promote the non-aviation revenue.

The Summit is the leading airport event in Asia, hosting major China's airports, exhibitors and over 300 senior level attendees from around the world. The Summit will also host the inaugural China Airport Development Awards, designed to identify and reward companies that demonstrated and unparalleled ability to succeed and have continually set standards or excellence.

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ARCEVENTS: Air traffic was not the most talked about subject at the Aerotropolis EMEA conference, held last week in Manchester. The most emphasised point among the speakers and delegates was connectivity, both by air and ground, because, as the co-author of the book Aerotropolis – The Way We'll Live Next, prof. John Kasarda said, "Accessibility is key".

According to Kasarda, Aerotropolis is more than just a transport hub, it is a strategy, a process rather than a project.

"Airports today are so much more than a place where aeroplanes land, they are enterprises, accommodating full set of cargo, logistics and commercial facilities on or around the premises," Kasarda said.

Kasarda emphasised that Airport City and Aerotropolis are not the same thing. Instead, Airport City is the most intensively used portion of Aerotropolis, with the passenger terminal functioning as a town square of a regular city.

Another interesting point Kasarda raised, was the distinction between aeronautical and non-aeronautical development. According to him, this is an artificial divide and a 20th century thinking.


"There is a huge misconception that non-aeronautical development isn't a direct benefit to aeronautical business. It improves passenger experience and financial health of the airport, as numerous airports achieve greater percentage of revenues from non-aeronautical services than aeronautical."

But let's go back to the importance of ground access. Kasarda stressed, that measuring the distance of Aerotropolis, the metrics is not how far away it is but how fast you can connect to either housing, offices or anywhere else you need to go.

"Aerotropolis is as much about air connectivity as surface connectivity," Kasarda said.

And many airport speakers, including Gatwick, Munich and Manchester agreed with this sentiment.

"We are a hub for rail connectivity as well as air," Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer for London Gatwick Airport said presenting the significant investment into improving rail access to his airport.