Friday 24 May 2024

UIC’s 1st AIR+HSR Workshop held on 23 May 2024

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Integrating high-speed rail (HSR) and air transport is a crucial step towards enhancing multimodal connectivity and improving the passenger experience. Therefore, the 1st UIC Workshop on AIR+HSR, held online on Thursday, 23 May 2024, focused on these topics, bringing together more than 20 experts and stakeholders to explore innovative solutions.

Moderated by Francesca Pagliara from the University of Naples “Federico II” (UNINA), the workshop addressed the coordination between air and HSR transport across Europe, the USA, and China. It aimed to develop practical solutions for enhancing services, improving infrastructure, and implementing regulatory changes that would benefit both modes of transport.

The event began with Michele Gesualdi, High-Speed Rail Advisor at UIC, welcoming the audience and introducing the topic, followed by Pagliara, who provided an overview of the project’s goals and scope.

Next, Juan Carlos Martín, professor at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) explored “Passenger perspectives on HSR and airport multimodal integration” in a keynote speech.

The focus then shifted to presentations on the Air+HSR quality criteria which affect coordination between airports and high-speed rail. Dewei Li, professor at the Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU), provided information on passenger transit times, luggage transfer procedures, and boarding pass delivery mechanisms. Stefan Angliker, student at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), covered the commercial and distribution considerations as well as the service frequency to take into account, with Paige Malott, from the San José State University (SJSU), addressing liability allocation in the event of delays and instances where HSR trips replace air travel.

Later in the day, a keynote speech by Andrea Giuricin, transport economist at the University of Milano Bicocca (UNIMIB), provided a case study on the ITA Airways and Aeroporti di Roma (ADR).

The workshop also featured presentations on Air+HSR case studies from different regions, with Li presenting a case from China, Angliker discussing Switzerland, and Malott covering the USA.

The event concluded with Michel Leboeuf from UIC summarising the workshop’s key findings. Gesualdi then provided the closing remarks and outlined the next steps for the project.

The Air+HSR Project constitutes a pivotal step toward an increased use of rail and other mass transit options in an era of increasingly prevalent intermodal journeys. Building on previous initiatives, this project aims to analyse and improve the coordination of air and HSR transport, developing practical solutions to enhance service, infrastructure, and potentially implement regulatory changes. This effort aligns with the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) development goals and draws inspiration from successful examples of this coordination, such as Zurich and Frankfurt.

The ultimate goal is to improve the passenger experience for those travelling for both business and leisure, meeting market expectations through quality criteria tailored to the sector. This project will continue to involve travel and transport industry stakeholders in workshops until mid-2024, with findings and recommendations to be presented at the next UIC World Congress on HSR in 2025. This workshop marks the first in a series leading up to the congress.

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