Regional Airports Interaction for Regional and Tourism Development

Regional Airports Interaction for Regional and Tourism Development


E Adamaki-Tzavella, Magnesia for Tourism and Transport, GR; L Pistelli, Marche Region Councillor, IT; G Haag, STASA, GR; A Hrehusova, OrbisTour, SV; M Vougioukas, EuroTrans, GR


Promotion of tourism development through interaction of regional airports in Central and South-East Europe, including development plans and marketing actions and the establishment of a network of regional airports' stakeholders and observatory


Regional airports can play a very important role in promoting regional development through attracting additional tourism. Although some regional airports have achieved substantial growth in recent years, mainly through new flights by low-cost airlines, there is a clear need for the strengthning of integrated and sustainable regional development based on the creation of a flexible air transport system provided by a cooperation network between regional airports. This is expected to lead to: the maintenance, expansion, improvement, and promotion of the existing regional airports through common methods and planning; the reinforcement of economic development and competitiveness through the construction of new facilities in isolated areas and the provision for new airport connections; the achievement of better exploitation of airports and the confrontation of existing problems through the evaluation of priorities; the exchange of knowledge and experience; the planning of common policies and the collaboration of private and public sector stakeholders on local, national, and transnational level; and to the attraction of further tourism.

In order to address the above requirements, the RAIRDev (Regional Airports Interaction for Regional Development) project has been developed within the INTERREG IIIB CADSES Transnational Cooperation Programme, part-financed of the European Union. The aim of RAIRDev is the strengthening of regional development by the enhancement of regional airports? role in an integrated and efficient multimodal transport system, as well as the involvement and the contribution of all stakeholders related to air transport, airport development and operation, tourism and regional economic development. The project duration is 27 months (May 2006 ? July 2008). The RAIRDev partnership consists of: Prefecture of Magnesia (Lead Partner), Dieuropaiki Symvouleutiki EPE ? EuroTrans Consulting (Management and Co-ordination Unit), Regiofokusz NGO (Szombathely, Hungary), Zilina Airport and OrbisTour (Zilina, Slovakia), City of Slupsk (Slupsk, Poland), Marche Region (Ancona, Italy), Steinbeis Transfer Center Applied System Analysis ? STASA (Stuttgard, Germany), Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzice (Uzice, Serbia), Carpathian Tourist Board (Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine). The case airports in the project are 'Volos-Central Greece' (Nea Aghialos) Airport, ?Savaria? Szombathely Airport, Hungary, Zilina Airport, Slovakia, Slupsk Redzikowo Airport, Poland, ?Raffaello Sanzio? Falconara Airport, Italy, Karlsruhe / Baden-Baden Airport, Germany, Uzice Ponikve Airport, Serbia and Ivano-Frankivsk Airport, Ukraine.

The project objectives are:

- To exploit the regional airports by improving existing infrastructure and connections in neglected areas for the transformation of the overly centralized air transport system to a balanced network which secures the best use and maintenance of these facilities, respects the environment, provides equal access to the majority of population, reinforces the competitiveness of the wider airport areas, and expands market area over more corridors of global business.
- To involve all the related to air transport stakeholders and enterprises originated from public, private and voluntary sector in order to establish a flexible, collaborative and functional coordination framework based on regional airports' interaction to regional development, with the perspective of a future integrated multimodal transport system.
- To promote the exchange of knowledge, experience and know-how between EU members and external countries in Central and South-East Europe area, as well as the wider dissemination of all findings and tools.

The Project Actions are:

- Exchange of Information for Methodology
- Development of Modelling and Evaluation Tools
- Surveys and Data Collection
- Regional Actions
- Establishment of European Regional Airports and stakeholders Network (ERAN)
- Establishment of an Observatory for Airport Regions in Central and South-East Europe
- Analysis of Policy Implications
- Dissemination, Publicity and Marketing.

The impacts of RAIRDev project are:

- Opportunities for new air connections
- Greater access to global corridors and networks
- Attraction of new business companies
- Enhancement of tourism
- Establishment of an eligible collaboration framework between local, national and transnational stakeholders originated from all sectors and of every partner region
- Creation of employment opportunities
- Contribution to sustainable regional development, socio-economic and territorial cohesion in Central and South-East Europe.

The paper will present the main results of the RAIRDev project and in particular the Development and Marketing Plans for the cases of Central Greece Airport, Ancona Falconara Airport and Zilina Airport, including the process of attracting new flights and the preliminary evaluation of their impact on tourism development in Magnesia Prefecture in Greece, Marche Region in Italy and Zilina district in Slovakia.


Association for European Transport