About the conference

Dear colleagues of the tunnelling community,

With the growth in global urbanisation and the need to find underground solutions to meet the needs of the world’s rising population, tunnels are becoming an increasingly important part of the transport infrastructure network. At the same time, stakeholders are faced with growing challenges in terms of operation and safety, including cost-efficiency and sustainability.

PIARC’s Technical Committee on Road Tunnel Operations is acknowledged worldwide as a reference body on issues related to tunnel operation and safety, with almost 140 active members. In recent years, it has published numerous technical reports and developed an on-line manual, providing valuable reference material to tunnelling professionals.

In order to promote the latest knowledge on current key issues and to facilitate technical discussions and debate amongst industry stakeholders, PIARC, its Road Tunnel Operations Committee and its French National Committee have decided to organise their first “International Conference on Road Tunnel Operations and Safety”. This event is organised with the support of the European Commission (DG Move), ITA COSUF (ITA Committee on Operational Safety of Underground Facilities), the French Centre for Tunnel Studies (CETU) and the French-speaking Working Group of Road Tunnel Operators (GTFE). It is aimed at tunnel owners, operators, rescue services, designers, tunnel safety officers, equipment suppliers and installers.

The conference will be held in France, at the Lyon Convention Centre, from 3rd to 5th October 2018. It will include two days of technical sessions and round table discussions, followed by a day of optional technical tours to tunnels in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Renowned speakers from around the globe will present the latest knowledge on four key topics: safety management tools and systems, sustainable tunnel operation, safety systems and equipment and future tunnel safety challenges.

We feel confident that this event will prove a valuable means of enabling stakeholders to benefit from the work conducted by PIARC and exchange views with fellow tunnelling professionals. It is therefore with great pleasure that we invite you to attend and look forward to welcoming you to the beautiful city of Lyon.

AIPCR Président

Claude Van Rooten

PIARC President

CF-AIPCR Président

André Broto

PIARC French National Commitee Chairman

Technical session topics

Safety management tools

Since the 2000s, numerous tunnel refurbishments have been conducted at an international level, the primary aim of which has been to improve user safety, whilst also focusing on the organisation of tunnel operations. This first technical session will present the headway made in this area, notably in terms of safety management tools and systems.

Sustainable operation


Current practices in terms of sustainable infrastructure management vary greatly from one country to another. Certain countries have established legislation or have fixed objectives, whilst others have no regulations at all. PIARC has recently published a report on the current status of sustainable tunnel operations in various countries. This second session will provide an overview of the various practices.

Safety systems and equipment

A wide variety of systems and equipment have been implemented over recent years within the scope of refurbishment works (centralised technical management, ventilation systems, fixed fire-fighting systems, way-finding equipment, communication systems,…). The tunnelling community has made considerable progress in these areas, in terms of design, operation and maintenance optimisation. This third technical session will focus on these issues.

Future safety challenges

New technologies, such as LEDs, alternative vehicle propulsion systems and information and communication technologies have emerged over recent years. Many are of interest to the underground infrastructure community and it is essential that their development within road tunnels takes into account the specific nature of this infrastructure. Three expert views on these issues will be presented.

Why should you Attend?

  • Over 300 participants expected
  • An internationally recognised platform where you can meet and exchange with a broad spectrum of industry stakeholders
  • Presence of representatives from government road directorates and the European Commission
  • High profile speakers who are top-level experts in their field
  • A chance to keep up to date with the latest best practices and PIARC recommendations
  • Lively round table discussions and debates on current key issues related to tunnel operation and safety
  • A two-day exhibition showcasing the latest industry products and services
  • Plenty of time to network over refreshment breaks, luncheons and an evening cocktail
  • On-site visits

Target Audience

Specifically designed for stakeholders involved in operational and safety aspects of tunnelling, this conference aims to bring together:

  • Tunnel owners, designers and operators
  • Government and local authority representatives
  • Fire and rescue services
  • Tunnel Safety Officers
  • System providers
  • Equipment manufacturers, suppliers and installers
  • Consultants and solution providers