Summary & Prologue
Income-Driven Demand for Air Travel
Air/Rail Modal Split: Competition or Symbiosis?
EU Injections and Priorities
Could Backwardness Offer an Advantage?
An Interim Solution
The International Dimension
Funding & Conclusion


The complete Airport Project was submitted to the Minister of Infrastructure on 22 November, 2004. Two weeks later, Ryszard Krystek, the vice-minister responsible for transport (formerly professor at Gdansk Polytechnic) responded in these words: "Thank you for your letter of 22 Nov. and the material concerning the Central Poland Airport. I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the authors of the submittted project which, in my view, will enrich the ongoing search for the best possible location for the central aerodrome. I have passed on the material to the Dpt of Programming and Strategy, which deals with problems of the infrastructure of civil aviation."

Making a Virtue of Necessity:

[September 13, 2005]
An innovative approach to air transport can be spotted in the European Commission staff working document: Airport capacity, efficiency and safety in Europe, published on 13 Sep., 2005, and meant as an overture to a new Public Consultation of the European Commission, DG Transport and Energy [< _13/2005_11_15_consultation_paper_en.pdf>].

The two points of departure in the document are:

— Global accessibility is a crucial factor in attracting foreign direct investments.

— Airport capacity constraints are an obstacle to growth (under the Lisbon strategy).

The principal suggestion is: Let us turn (the current) competition between high speed rail and air into complementarities (e.g., by substituting some short-haul flights with train journeys). — There is only marginal reference to "environmentally and user friendly public transport modes" in the paper.

Other themes are: Air Traffic Flow Management (airport slots), land-use management (where some "nuisances", i.e., environmental aspects, are mentioned in passing.

The suggestion is made to establish a specific user charge (of airports) to help finance large scale airport extension projects.

The remaining topics are: sources of funding, benchmarking, turning research results into practice, ATM safety, traffic distribution within airport systems, and the role of secondary airports.

Comment: In the light of this document, environmental aspects of the eventual substitution of flights with train journeys are of tertiary importance. In reality, however, the unimpeded growth of air traffic tends to combine with the disastrous effects of the swelling road traffic into what may soon become a lethal threat to the habitat and human life (at least in the "civilized" countries).

A compelling argument against such unimpeded air traffic growth was proffered the other day by the (British) Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research [<>].

Noting that in the next 20 years air traffic in the British Isles is expected to grow two and a half times (from 180m to 425m passengers annually), the Institute warns that even if aviation's current growth is halved from today's level, the rest of the British economy will require carbon dioxide cuts far beyond Government targets for 2050.

The new report, called "Decarbonising the UK", describes ways of cutting carbon dioxide emissions from road transport, housing, industry and coal fired power stations and the role of renewable energy, nuclear power and hydrogen fuel in providing low carbon energy supply.

Overall conclusion: Not airport capacity constraints and similar considerations put forward in the EU document, but environmental considerations should persuade us to work on an all-round integration of Air, Rail and Road, with a view to promoting public transport on rails (especially high speed trains) as a convenient substitute for all short-haul flights and most overland motoring as well as for much of the urban motoring that is increasingly clogging our cities today.


Frankfurt Expansion by 2015 new_terminal_3_and_a380.htm
Europe's second biggest airport will undergo a programme of expansion laid out over 10 years. Fraport A.G. will spend altogether €3.3bln on a new runway, a third terminal, and an A380 maintenance base. By 2009, the new runway, situated to the northwest, beyond the ICE railway and A4 motorway, though only 2800 m in length and hence serving only smaller aircraft, will allow the airport to service 120 mln passengers a year. Its separation by 1400 m from the nearest parallel runway will allow for simultaneous operations on two runways [airport layout].
Terminal 3 will be built in place of the US air base, situated in the southeastern corner of the airport. Its first section will come into operation in 2007 [terminal 3 layout].
The new hangar will accommodate four wide-body A380s.

Quiet Jets? September 10, 2005
A team of aerospace engineers has unveiled its design for a silent aircraft — hopefully in production within 20 years, it was revealed by the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
The airliner would be no louder than background urban noise even at take-off and landing — even if you lived under its flightpath.
The size of a Boeing 767, it would have a range of 4,000 miles and take 250 passengers, seated in a large triangular-shaped area which doubles up as fuselage and wing. Larger versions could carry 800 passengers.
Making the wings and fuselage part of the same integral structure should also significantly reduce wind resistance and fuel consumption.
The four jet engines are also built into and above the plane's body so that noise is deflected upwards. They are surrounded by insulating material and fitted with adjustable nozzles which can be made wider on take-off, reducing the speed of the exhaust and thus the noise. The noise would be further reduced by changing the angle of descent of aircraft so that they spend less time moving horizontally while close to the ground.
Called the Silent Air Initiative, the project involves 40 scientists at Cambridge University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Frankfurt Airport by 2015
Frankfurt Airport by 2015.
Frankfurt Airport will have a third terminal, with four sprawling fingers, from 350m to 650 m in length
Frankfurt Airport will have a third terminal, with four sprawling fingers, from 350m to 650 m in length.


Britain Studies London-Manchester HSR February 7, 2005
The British government is studying a high-speed rail link that could take passengers from London to Manchester in less than 90 minutes, a reduction of at least 50 minutes. Transport Minister Alistair Darling says the Government must decide whether the extra capacity required on the rail network over the next 10 to 20 years could be achieved by upgrading existing lines or by building new railways. He also says earlier plans for the project drawn up by the Strategic Rail Authority had not been "robust" in terms of cost. The link was determined to cost L33bn.

London-Edinburgh HSR? February 4, 2005
Under the SRA blueprint the new line would run parallel to the existing East Coast main line out of London but then go to the West Midlands. There would be a branch to Manchester and the main line would go via Leeds and the north-east of England to Edinburgh. The final bill would be about L33bn. Almost two hours would be knocked off the trip from London to Edinburgh, cutting the journey time over 400 miles to two hours and 35 minutes

From International Railway Journal's Latest News Archive

Korean High-Speed Train Breaks Through 350km/h Barrier December 22, 2004
THE G7 prototype high-speed train built by Rotem, Korea, reached a speed of 352.4km/h during a midnight test run on December 16. The run started at Gwangmyeung station and the train exceeded 350km/h between Cheonan and Shintanjin. The Ministry of Construction and Transportation said that only three other countries, France, Germany, and Japan have built trains that can travel at 350km/h or more.

The train is a progression of the Korea Train eXpress (KTX), which is based on French TGV technology. Forty-six KTX trains, the first 13 built in France by Alstom and the rest progressively built in Korea by Rotem under a technology transfer deal, have been in service on Korea?s new high-speed line between Seoul and Busan that opened in April.

The six-car aluminium-bodied G7 is an all-Korean train designed for ultimate operation at 350km/h. About 87% of the core technology is Korean. Korea has invested about $US 200 million during the past eight years to develop the train, which it hopes to export from 2007.

Russia Agrees High-Speed Train Development December 21, 2004
RUSSIAN Railways (RZD) and a Russian consortium, New Transport Technologies (NTT), have signed an agreement with Siemens to jointly develop a new 250km/h train for operation between key Russian cities, including the Moscow--St Petersburg route, and between St Petersburg and Helsinki, Finland.

The signing ceremony was attended by the Russian president, Mr Vladimir Putin, and the German Chancellor, Mr Gerhard Schröder, as well as Mr Hans Schabert, Siemens Transportation Systems' group president. Initially, the agreement calls for the production of 60 trains, which will be built mainly in Russia. The first train is expected to be completed in 2007.

Maglev Rejected For Beijing—Shanghai High-Speed Line? December 2, 2004
A former mayor of Shanghai, Mr Xu Kuangdo, who is now vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, has said that China is unlikely to use maglev technology for the proposed 1300km Beijing—Shanghai high-speed line because it is too expensive and too risky from a technological point of view. Xu was speaking at the China Foreign Affairs University.

The world's first commercial high-speed maglev line running 30km from Shanghai's Pudong international airport to the city's financial centre in seven minutes has been operating since January 2004. Xu commented that maglev technology was too expensive and required too much precision for the Beijing—Shanghai route which will have many rivers to cross. "Although maglev is very advanced technologically, the investment involved is huge and construction quality requirements are very high," he said.

A maglev line, with a journey time of about three hours, would cost $US 48.4 billion, while a conventional steel-wheel-on-steel-rail line could offer a journey time of about five hours at a cost of $US 15.7 billion.

Despite that, Xu is quoted by China News Service saying that China will build a second, longer maglev line covering 170km between Shanghai's Pudong airport and Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province. The journey time will be 26 minutes.
[For an informative web site on Maglev, see]

RFF Seeks Local Approval For New TGV Line November 26, 2004
THE president of French Rail Network (RFF), Mr Jean-Pierre Duport, has asked the prefect of Charente to open an enquiry in order to obtain approval to construct the first phase of the 302km Sud Europe Atlantique high-speed line. RFF hopes to receive a declaration of public utility during the first quarter of next year.

TGV Sud Europe Atlantique will extend the existing Paris–Tours TGV Atlantique line to Bordeaux. The 300km/h line will cut the Paris–Bordeaux journey time by 50 minutes. The current fastest time by non-stop TGV is 2h 56min.

The first phase of the project will be 121km long and run from Villognon, north of Angouleme, to Ambares-et-Lagrave, north of Bordeaux. It will cost Euros 1.7 billion to build and should open in 2013. This section will cut 30 minutes off the Paris–Bordeaux journey time and should attract an extra 1.7 million passengers.

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