Mari Peltomäki

Chief Executive Officer & Connectivity Expert
Art Palace International Oy

I am a strong believer in airport cities as tools for attracting people, business and investments. Branding and promotion should be as high on the list as master planning and development. In the future, people will travel to locations which have uniqueness about them- where the sense of place can be felt and seen. Besides of being major transport and business hubs, airport cities at their best reflect authentic local culture and may they become destinations themselves. They can be a winning formula for cities and regions to thrive in the future.

Max Hirsh

University of Hong Kong

Max Hirsh (PhD, Harvard) is a professor at the University of Hong Kong and a leading expert on airports and urban infrastructure. His research focuses on passenger behavior, airport-led urban development, non-aeronautical revenue, landside real estate, and emerging ground access patterns.

He is the author of Airport Urbanism: an unprecedented study of airports and air travel that incorporates the perspective of passengers, airport and airline operators, urban planners, developers, and travel retail professionals. Based on 10 years of research conducted at more than 50 airports around the world, the book sheds light on the exponential increase in global air travel and its implications for the planning, design, and operation of airports. Fluent in six languages and with a professional career spanning three continents, Max inflects his analyses with unique insights into the practicalities of international air travel and the mindset of people on the move.

Max provides thought leadership for the aviation industry through the popular blog, where he presents leading-edge strategies for tackling the key challenges that confront airports today. In addition, Max is a founding board member of Aerial Futures, a non-profit think tank that explores the future of air travel from an architectural and urban design perspective. Passionate about airports and air travel, Max works with airport authorities, developers, and urban planners around the world to help shape the future of airports and the cities that they serve.

Glenn Lyons

Professor of Future Mobility
UWE Bristol

Glenn is the Mott MacDonald Professor of Future Mobility at UWE Bristol where he was previously Associate Dean for Research and Enterprise in the Faculty of Environment and Technology and the founding Director of the Centre for Transport & Society. He is seconded for half his time to Mott MacDonald from UWE Bristol, creating a bridge between academia and practice. Throughout his research career of over 25 years he has focused upon the role of new technologies in supporting and influencing travel behaviour both directly and through shaping lifestyles and social practices. A former secondee to the UK Department for Transport and more recently to the New Zealand Ministry of Transport, Glenn has led major studies into traveller information systems, teleworking, virtual mobility, travel time use, user innovation, road pricing, public and business attitudes to transport and future mobility. He is now actively engaged in examining the future prospects for technological innovations including Connected Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility as a Service. He has been involved in a number of strategic futures initiatives and recent engagements have included helping transport authorities address future uncertainty in their planning, policymaking and investment; and examining the need for transport planning practice to evolve. Glenn is a Trustee of the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation and of the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund. He is also a member of the UK Department for Transport’s Joint Analysis Development Panel.

Alex Kirby

Managing Director
Final Approach

Alexander Kirby is Managing Director of Final Approach Limited, a consultancy company based in West Sussex, specializing in designing unique development strategies for airport clients. This ranges from sustainable growth of the air service network to maximizing the value of the real-estate assets in and around the airport. Prior, from 2014 to 2017, Mr. Kirby was Senior Advisor to the Board at London Gatwick Airport, the world’s busiest low cost carrier airport welcoming 45.7 million passenger to its single runway. His primary focus was working with the business and political communities to gain their support the continued growth of the airport. The airport has now enjoyed 60 consecutive months of passenger growth with cargo volumes almost doubling in same period. Since August 2016 Mr. Kirby has served on the Infrastructure Committee of the Urban Land Institute that provide thought leadership on infrastructure solutions for projects across the UK. Prior, from 2012 until 2014, Mr. Kirby was Executive Vice President, Airport Cities, UBM Plc, the world’s second largest live events company following the sale of his company Insight Media to UBM. Prior, from 2005 to 2012 Mr. Kirby was the Founder and Managing Director, Insight Media a consultancy and communications company focused on the aviation industry with clients including Airbus, British Airways, IATA, Airport Council International and many of the world’s leading airport operators. Prior, Mr. Kirby held senior management positions with Barclays Bank and Industrial Bank of Japan (now Mizuho Bank).

Pieter van der Horst

Chief Development Officer
IKIA International Airport

In my opinion airport cities will become increasingly important in the world. Every airport city will be connected to many others in the future and will hereby create an airport city network. The advantage is that this way international business people will be connected directly to many other high quality business areas around the world and will make travelling to clients and partners from all over the world increasingly easy and fast. The international business world will therefore more and more be located at airport areas and have the benefit of direct connectivity and without traffic jams from the airport to the city center and vice versa. 

Peter de Leeuw

Head of Landside and Real Estate Development
Vienna International Airport

I started developing the Airport City from a real estate perspective, as that is the industry where I came from. Very soon I realised, that there is a whole lot of additional perspectives to look from. An Airport City is a living organism, a vital eco-system that needs to be understood. The integrated companies creates high power together. The energy in the surroundings – negative as positive – is significant. A boiling pot can either explode – or its content can convert into a delicate dish. So Airport City Development is about using the right amount of attention and then adding ingredients for something good to come.

David Stewart

Managing Director
DMS Consulting

David Stewart has over 35 years’ experience in airport master planning, terminal area planning and design on major international airport projects in North America, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Europe.  He has been responsible for the management of a wide range of airport projects from specialised studies for component infrastructure to world-class airport “mega-projects”.

Previously, as Head of Airport Development for IATA, David was responsible for the Association’s interface with airports world-wide, overseeing major expansion and “green field” developments.   The main goal of this oversight has been to ensure that the aviation industry receives value for money for the investments being made in airport infrastructure and that the airline community and airports’ business development and operational strategies are aligned and mutually supportive.

David’s familiarity with both the planning and operation of airports from the point of view of the airline community, the airport owner/operator and as a professional consultant continues to provide him with unique and diverse perspectives on airport development and operations.