Nicola Hamann is managing director of RX, the organiser of inter airport Europe. The show, which is to be held between 10 and 13 October, in Munich as usual, is keenly anticipated. Hamann talks to Airside about what we can expect from this year’s big airport show
Hamann, speaking to this magazine in July, noted that “There is high interest in inter airport Europe this year.
“Following the pandemic years, everyone in the airport industry globally is keen to meet again face to face to discover the latest innovations, network and exchange ideas. The event is therefore more important than ever to discover what the future of aviation looks like and it will be crucial for all businesses in the industry to set themselves up for recovery and success.
“Our exhibitors are already busy preparing their participation for the long-awaited return of the show in October. Equally, we are getting a lot of requests from visitors planning their trip and visa.”
Four months ahead of inter airport Europe 2023, 313 exhibitors from 33 countries had already booked their stand space, forming what the show organisers state will be “an impressive line-up of well-known international brands alongside promising start-ups and scale-ups”.
With two exhibition halls at the Munich Trade Fair Center virtually sold out, exhibitors are embracing the venue’s recently opened additional Hall C6, Hamann confirms.
By July, the show was already set to be around 30% larger than the previous event in 2021. As usual, there will be a variety of pavilions at this year’s show, including those of GATE (German Airport Technology and Equipment), Great Britain, Finland, France, Italy and Spain.
This year’s event in Munich will build on the success of inter airport Europe 2021 and the rapid recovery of the aviation industry since the dark days of Covid-19. “The pandemic has demonstrated how crucial global trade exhibitions like inter airport Europe are for the community to get together and how essential it is to meet face to face,” Hamann stresses.
“Of course, it was very apparent at the previous event that the airport industry was hit hard by the pandemic and many companies had to cut budgets and staff. At the last event, it was important to offer a meeting place to the industry after such extraordinary circumstances and our customers valued that we offered them this meeting place.
“This year’s event will build on that, but of course two years have passed since the last event and the airport industry has recovered further. Companies wishing to position their brand in this recovering and re-emerging market are participating in the event and using the opportunity to meet the global airport industry.
“We expect an increase in ‘internationality’ once again as travel has returned to near-normal in most parts of the world. Visitors can discover how they can create further efficiencies, be more sustainable, work with increasing global passenger numbers and discuss the latest trends and innovations.
“The upcoming inter airport Europe offers an encouraging perspective on new and emerging technologies that will help airports streamline their infrastructure, systems and processes whilst meeting rising costs.”
Building on success
“inter airport Europe has a strong international brand presence and has been the leading and established event of the industry since the 1970s,” Hamann says. “As such, each show builds on the success and learnings, not just from the last event, but all previous events.
“We are of course aiming to eventually return to 2019 levels, when we held a record event.”
This year, the show’s organiser will once again be offering digital tools to enhance the experience of exhibitors and visitors before and during the show. One of these will be its improved matchmaking platform, which will help exhibitors and visitors to identify the companies offering the tools and solutions in which they are most interested and arrange meetings accordingly.
“We have also analysed feedback we’ve received from both exhibitor and visitor groups to improve their journey and experience with us and will be incorporating different elements into their show experience,” says Hamann.
With a wide-ranging seminar programme, inter airport Europe will offer “a popular platform to present and learn about new approaches to current airport challenges, such as vital infrastructure enhancements, addressing fluctuating demand, reaching net zero commitments and improving the overall passenger journey,” she continues.
Sessions will run in three separate seminar streams: Leading Terminal Technology, Disruptive Digital Innovations and Cutting-edge Apron Insights.
In addition to this, a Sustainability Summit called inter airport FOCUS will run alongside the show this year. It will offer a two-day interactive networking and collaboration platform for key aviation stakeholders looking to develop, discuss and initiate sustainability measures required to reach their global net zero commitments by 2050.
The summit will feature three themed stages for speaker presentations and panel discussions to facilitate interdisciplinary exchange and sharing of best practices in the following areas: Building Infrastructure, Airport Operations, and Intermodal Mobility.
And, as ever, the show will be designed to mirror and help the airport sector. Hamann observes: “We see it as our main objective to provide the marketplaces the industry needs to recover and conduct business, whatever industry circumstances might be.
“We are always partnering with the industry to support this trajectory. By uniting the whole airport industry and creating a platform to showcase innovations and share ideas, we are empowering a united community that can overcome any challenge and build a stronger future for airports.”
Finally, this year’s event will once again include the bestowal of inter airport Europe Innovation Awards. These will be in four categories: TERMINAL, DATA, GSE and SUSTAINABILITY.
“This will be an excellent chance for visitors to discover all the latest innovations from our exhibitors. We are currently collecting all entries from exhibiting companies and the vote for the airport community will start in September,” Hamann informs.