The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is working with key stakeholders in Poland to establish an Airport Consultative Committee to facilitate consultation with global airline community on the development of the Solidarity Transport Hub Poland, a new airport planned in Central Europe. The first meeting will take place in Warsaw on July 18.
The Committee created by the IATA in cooperation with Solidarity Transport Hub Poland (STH) management, will serve as an important forum to exchange ideas and better inform decision-making. The Airport Consultative Committee (ACC) will essentially serve as an airline technical body to review strategic options, assess the cost and benefits, and consider the operational impacts on airlines and their passengers.
IATA will extend invitations for ACC membership to all passenger and cargo airlines (including non-IATA members) that have an interest in operating from STH. This will include current operators at Chopin Airport as well as those that may have future plans to enter the Polish market when Solidarity Airport opens. Participants will be expected to have the seniority or expertise to represent their organization’s views and make a contribution to the proceedings.
“Our operation is carefully thought out. It is impossible to plan the airport well, without asking for the opinion of those who will use it. We are consistently building a knowledge base that will help us prepare the master plan of the Solidarity Airport” says Mikołaj Wild, Government Plenipotentiary for Solidarity Transport Hub Poland.
The inaugural ACC meeting, scheduled to take place in Warsaw on July 18, will be the first of many that will be held throughout the STH development process. The initial activities will include verifying that the conceptual assumptions of the STH are aligned with the needs of carriers and whether any possible improvements need to be made. The overall goal is to ensure that infrastructure solutions are consistent with the expectations and needs of carriers: technical, operational and financial.
“We highly value the knowledge and experience of IATA experts, which is why we want to conduct the widest possible consultations with the airline industry. The result is to be a new airport between Warsaw and Lodz, which takes into account the needs of all its customers: carriers, companies operating in the airport and providing services to it, and above all passengers” says Dariusz Sawicki, STH board member for the airport investment part.
IATA brings experience gained on global airport projects to Poland and has incorporated the lessons learned into the ACC’s terms of reference which describe its objectives, activities, membership and structure. The ACC will have two co-chairs with one chosen from the airline community and the other drawn from STH.
“On behalf of IATA, we are very pleased to be working closely on this key project for transport in Europe. With European demand for travel set to grow by around 50% by 2037, it is vital that the right infrastructure be built now to be ready for this increased. Air passengers are counting on us and IATA is proud to be part of the solution” says Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe.
The ACC is the next step in the comprehensive consultation process with STH stakeholders which started in mid-April with a meeting attended by over 60 representatives of various entities, e.g. Polish Aviation Group, Board of Airline Representatives in Poland, Polish Air Navigation Services Agency, Poczta Polska, Orlen, LOTOS, PERN, LOT AMS, LS Airport Services, Polish Hotel Holding, FedEx, DHL, UPS, TNT Express.
STH familiarized the partners with the planned stages of the investment, presented a working block diagram of the project implementation as well as terms of reference regarding the structure and scope of consultation. By the end of May, STH received over 400 comments and proposals on a wide range of topics concerning the infrastructure of the planned airport, from aircraft, passenger, and baggage handling to cargo and technical support.
This year STH plans to engage a strategic and technical advisor, an international entity with investment experience in the design, construction and management of interchanges. This year STH will also commission a master plan. It will include, among others: air traffic forecasts, dimensioning of planned infrastructure and initial plan of its location, construction stage and detailed business model of the planned airport.