WIT Press

How To Convert A Regional Airport Into An “Airport City” In Central Europe: The “airLED” Project


Free (open access)





Page Range

943 - 954




343 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


M. Siska


Between 1st July, 2012 and 31st December, 2014 nine partners of four Central European regions implement the “airLED” project through the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme, co-financed by the ERDF. Within the “airLED” project the four regions elaborate their strategic polycentric development plans in order to convert their regional airports to an “Airport City” by a common elaborated method. In the last decades, markets have become national and international in scale while the airports and their adjacent areas have functioned as catalysts for local economic development. The ability of differently sized airports to generate jobs and attract new business was used in many settlements to justify public investments in and around airport areas. The vision behind “airLED” project builds on the “Airport City” concept, advocating the importance of appropriately planned airport-area development. An Airport City is characterised by all the functions of a modern metropolitan centre being located on and immediately around major airport sites. It may entail arterial spines and clusters of aviationlinked and other businesses with systematically planned transport connections radiating outwards up to 20 km from the airport. The “airLED” project focuses on the economic development of catchment areas around airports, taking into account the direct, indirect and induced impacts of airport activities. The project aims primarily at enhancing the cooperation between public authorities and bodies concerned and having a stake in the economic development of areas surrounding a given airport. In this respect, good connectivity of the airport with its catchment areas both by road and rail is one of the major challenges.


airport cities, airports’ impact on urban development, connectivity, transnational cooperation