Polish-British cooperation on Solidarity Transport Hub Poland

Polish-British cooperation on Solidarity Transport Hub Poland

Today, representatives of Poland and the United Kingdom signed a cooperation agreement on the Solidarity Transport Hub Poland (STH).  The British aviation sector has much experience and know-how to offer toward planning, designing and building the Solidarity Airport and 1600 km of new railway lines including high-speed lines. The cooperation agreement was signed by deputy infrastructure minister and government plenipotentiary for STH Marcin Horała and the British ambassador to Poland Jonathan Knott (on behalf of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Trade – DIT – Graham Stuart). The meeting was also attended by CEO of the STH company Mikołaj Wild and CEO of the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PAŻP), Janusz Janiszewski.

Large infrastructure projects such as the Solidarity Transport Hub Poland respond to the transport needs of citizens and countries, but also provide an opportunity to exchange specialist knowledge and experience.  I’m confident that cooperation with the UK will help build a modern, comfortable and epidemiologically safe airport,” government plenipotentiary for STH Marcin Horała said.   

– I’ve previously met with Polish ministers to champion UK expertise in delivering their ambitious plans to transform Polish connectivity, so I’m particularly proud to announce the deal we’ve struck with Poland’s Infrastructure Ministry today. Poland is an ever more important trade partner for the UK and I’m delighted that, after more than two years work by my department, British firms’ experience and expertise can be at the heart of delivering this major boost to Poland’s trade and prosperity – said Minister for Exports, Graham Stuart MP. The UK is home to some of the best project management, engineering, architecture and finance experts in the world. It is the role of our dedicated trade department, DIT, through trade support and export finance, to make sure their brilliance is showcased on the world stage – he adds.

Ambassador Jonathan Knott pointed out that the UK is willing to share knowledge and experience gained in connection with innovative, ground-breaking projects across the world, for example airports: Incheon in Seoul, Changi in Singapore, Daxing in Beijing and İGA in Istanbul.  The agreement envisages readiness for cooperation – involving a Polish-British consultation team – on designing airport and rail infrastructure, spatial planning for areas around the airport and issues relating to sustainable development and project digitisation.

Stuart Cairns, Head of International Airport’s Group, Bird & Bird LLP said: The new Solidarity Transport Hub is arguably one of the most exciting new airport projects in development anywhere in the world. Following an introduction facilitated by the DIT, we have engaged extensively with the STH Team in Warsaw in respect of their plans to identify and appoint key partners for the Project. Our recent experience in successfully designing and managing similar procurements for key airport clients elsewhere in the world allowed us to put forward a very strong team and competitive offer to support STH at this key phase in the process.

I’m delighted to say that having done so, we have now been appointed to advise on the first of these procurements and we are excited to be engaged so early and in such a critical way. We look forward to sharing international best practice, ensuring that the world’s finest consultants and contractors are engaged and ultimately supporting the success of this fantastic project.”

Ireneusz Kołodziej, Associate Director, Arup said: The project for a greenfield mega hub airport, such as Solidarity Transport Hub, has to be meticulously planned from the very beginning. The location of such infrastructure has to take into account many different aspects, starting from the airport itself, but also including impacts outside its immediate boundary, including transport links and the environment.

As a global leader in aviation advisory we have been entrusted with conducting the location analysis to identify the optimal site for the airport, taking advantage of our global experience, but also local knowledge. It was a great pleasure to have the opportunity to work on this fundamental study, and we hope to continue work on further phases of development. We also appreciate STH team open approach for consultation with industry like the one co organized with DIT as a fantastic opportunity to exchange ideas and best practices.

The beneficiaries of the agreement on the Polish side include Solidarity Transport Hub Poland (STH), Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PANSA), the Civil Aviation Authority (ULC) and the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management (IMiGW). On the British side DIT are counting on companies in the British Aviation Group (BAG) and also National Air Traffic Control Services (NATS), the custodian of UK airspace.

Representatives of the British aviation sector have worked with us shoulder to shoulder since a very early stage of the STH project. I deeply hope that this cooperation will continue. We value the experience of British companies, gained in the course of developing large infrastructure projects not only in their own country but also in other parts of the world. Their offer perfectly complements the planned cooperation with the Strategic Advisor to be selected in the second half of 2020 as well as the strategic partnership to be developed with the Strategic Advisor at the next stage of the investment” STH CEO Mikołaj Wild said.

– The STH project means that we need to redesign Polish airspace. It is a chance for the Polish aviation market that has reported a very dynamic growth over the past few years and that will hopefully be back on a fast development path once the pandemic is overcome. We are looking forward to fruitful cooperation with experienced experts from the United Kingdom – said PANSA CEO Janusz Janiszewski .      

The agreement is a part of Polish-British continued cooperation on the STH project. June and September last year saw architectural workshops – a joint initiative of the British Embassy in Poland and the STH company – that paved the way for initial architectural concepts for the Solidarity Airport. The proposals were submitted by internationally renowned architecture firms Foster+Partners, Chapman Taylor, Zaha Hadid Architects, Grimshaw, Benoy, Pascall+Watson, Woods Bagot, Populous and KPF.

At the same time STH consulted with partners in the sector on technical and operational requirements for the new airport. These consultations resulted in a so-called strategic brief containing STH’s basic features that was subsequently subject to comments from air carriers – including from the UK.

The STH project envisages construction of a new hub airport for Poland and Central and Eastern Europe and over 1600 km of new railway lines (including sections conforming to High Speed Rail standards, e.g. Warsaw- STH -Łódź). In combination with existing lines, they will form a network linking the Polish capital and STH with the majority of the country’s biggest cities, with travel time not exceeding 2-2.5 hours.  According to the Ministry of Infrastructure’s estimates, construction of CPK will allow for the creation of almost 150 thousands jobs, nearly 40 thousands in the immediate surroundings of the hub and around 110 thousands in related sectors of the economy.