This year marked the 21st inter airport Europe exhibition, and the show in Munich was bigger and more comprehensive than ever
While the doors had opened a couple of hours earlier, the official opening of the show took place mid-morning on Tuesday 10 October (the show continued until the afternoon of the Friday). The welcoming committee comprised Stephen Brooks, chairman and owner of the Mack Brooks Exhibition Group, which organises and manages the biennial event; Munich Airport CEO Michael Kerkloh; and Dieter Heinz, president of GATE (German Airport Technology & Equipment), the German umbrella association for airport suppliers.
Brooks welcomed all present to the exhibition, before Kerkloh offered his thoughts on three key themes that provided important themes for this year’s inter airport Europe and that also concern him in his role as an airport operator chief executive.
The first of these he described as IT development and network connectivity. Aviation is clearly a global industry, he pointed out, and it is also characterised by continuous dynamic development. And, in this regard, IT development has proved particularly important, but also a significant challenge for many involved in the industry.
Closely related to IT development is the ongoing need for capacity development, Kerkloh continued. This is as important as the efficiency improvements being obtained by means of progress in IT and networking connectivity, he declared, pointing to the continuing expansion in airport-related infrastructure (particularly the development of a third runway at his own gateway, Munich Airport).
The third theme addressed by Kerkloh concerned the need for the industry to achieve sustainable growth. All aspects of the industry must work together to protect the environment, in terms of both emissions and noise, he stressed, again pointing to the strides being made by Munich Airport in this regard.
Heinz took the podium to explain that this year marks GATE’s 25th anniversary, as well as inter airport Europe’s 21st. He said that inter airport becomes more important every year, partly because of the rapid pace of change that characterises the airport industry, not least in terms of IT. The industry survives and it adapts, Heinz insisted, and it will continue to do so in the face of changing technologies and fresh challenges, such as Brexit.
Announcing the winners
Brooks then returned front and centre to announce the winners of the five awards given at the year’s inter airport, a regular feature of the show, the winners being decided by aviation professionals by means of an online vote via the show website.
There were four main exhibition categories again this year: interTERMINAL, interDATA, interRAMP and interDESIGN. But there was also an additional fifth category for innovation relating to the ‘interCONNECTED airport’, the major focus of this year’s show.
The winners were:
interTERMINAL: Vanderlande of the Netherlands, for its ‘flexible logistics solution’, FLEET
interDATA: topsystem Systemhaus of Germany for its APHIS staff rostering system (APHIS stands for Aviation Personnel Handling and Information System)
interRAMP: Baumann of Italy for its next-generation PaxLift ambulift
interDESIGN: Zodiac Aerospace of France for its SEN door-locking system for unit load devices (ULDs)
interCONNECTED: Dedienne Aerospace of France for its ToolLive, a real-time tracking and predictive analysis service for aeronautical tools
Bigger and better
A total of 657 exhibitors from 44 countries were on hand at the show to present a variety of airport-related equipment. Covering a net exhibition space of 31,800 square metres, this figure represented a 7% increase in floor space compared with the previous event held two years ago. Meanwhile, a total of 13,854 trade visitors from 110 countries were there to examine the wares on display and to talk to the various industry experts on the stands. That represented a 9% increase on 2015.
Around 70% of exhibitors came from outside Germany, and more than 70% of visitors also came from beyond Germany’s borders.
“This very successful event once more reflects the current dynamic development of the airport industry,” says Nicola Hamann, managing director of Mack Brooks Exhibitions. “The airport of the future provides enormous potential for suppliers of equipment, technology, services and solutions; and digitalisation and automation offers new opportunities for airport operators.
“At inter airport Europe 2017, visitors were able to see for themselves that the networked airport will soon be a reality. Driverless vehicles, automated baggage handling, highly developed systems and air traffic control – all these latest developments were presented by the exhibitors at this year’s show.”
The next inter airport Europe, the 22nd International Exhibition for Airport Equipment, Technology, Design & Services, is set to take place from 8 to 11 October 2019, once again at the Munich Trade Fair Centre.