PIARC held its annual statutory meetings from 23 to 28 October in Bonn (Germany)

Bonn (Germany), 23 - 28 October 2017

On the agenda: numerous reports and technical seminars, preparation of the PIARC Congresses and automated vehicles

The city of Bonn (Germany) hosted the 2017 statutory meetings of the World Road Association from 23 to 28 October: the Association Council meeting, the Executive Committee, the National Committees Assembly, the Strategic Planning Commission and the Communication Commission.

Chaired by Claude van Rooten, President, the Executive Committee of the World Road Association (PIARC) brought together its members and the three Vice-Presidents of the Association, the representative of the National Committees, the General Secretary of the Association, Patrick Malléjacq, and the General Secretariat team.

This meeting was an opportunity to discuss the progress of work in view of achieving the objectives set by the Association for the period 2017-2020.The General Secretary particularly stressed the publication of numerous quality technical documents, widely used in the road and road transport sector, and the large number of conferences, seminars and workshops organised throughout the world, particularly in low and middle income countries.

Two new special projects were approved, one concerning "electric roads" and the other relating to the contribution of road transport to economic development. They will bring specific clarification on these current affairs subjects from next year.

The Council is the governing body of the Association. It gathered key officials of over 44 countries. A morning was dedicated to a very rich debate on automated vehicles, with presentations given by the United States, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and Quebec. The authorities and road operators wish to contribute to the reasoned deployment of these vehicles, incorporating the new expectations and impacts on the road infrastructure with suitable business models as from now. The principle of a new study group on this subject was agreed and will be set up shortly under the coordination of Eric Ollinger (France).

The Association also launched the preparation of its new strategic plan based on the guiding principles of quality, flexibility and responsiveness.

The Council noted the entry of two national committees, Paraguay and Poland, into the Association's National Committee network, and the new memorandum of understanding signed with the South East Europe Transport Observatory (SEETO).

In the frame of this meeting which had taken place beforehand at Federal Ministry of Transport and digital Infrastructure, the final event for 100 international participants was their technical visit at BASt in Bergisch Gladbach and at the new test facility "duraBASt".

From left to right: Yves Robichon, Jean-François Corté and Jeffrey Paniati

Finally, the Council conferred honorary membership upon Jean-François Corté (France), General Secretary of PIARC between 2002 and 2016, Jeffrey Paniati (United States), Chairman of the Strategic Planning Commission between 2013 and 2016 and lastly Yves Robichon (France), twice Chairman of the French Committee and member of several PIARC technical committees.

The XVIth International Winter Road Congress will be held in Calagary in 2022

The PIARC Council was also able to confirm the very dynamic progress of preparations for the upcoming International Winter Road Congress, which will take place in Gdańsk (Poland) from 20 to 23 February 2018, and the next World Road Congress, due to be held in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), from 6 to 10 October 2019.

Finally, the Council accepted the application of the city of Calagary (Canada) to organise the XVIth International Winter Road Congress in February 2022.