Ropeways - motion and emotion

June, 2017, 06 – 09

Bolzano / Bozen


Session 1 "Development of ropeways in urban and tourism applications

Comparison between ropeways systems and other public transport systems - the example of Toulouse
Keynote speaker:
Cyril Ladier
Project Manager of the Toulouse ropeway project for public transport

After introducing the project area in Toulouse, all the different solutions studied (roads, bridges, subway, light rail…) will be presented and compared. Then the cable car projects studied (with the different technologies) will be explained and the chosen project will be detailed


Mi Teleferico, La Paz/El Alto (Bolivia) - a success story
Cèsar Dockweiler
CEO of The public enterprise Mi-Teleferico from La Paz

La Paz/El Alto, Bolivia, implements the biggest ropeway-based urban transit system worldwide.The presentation gives an overview of design, construction and operation and reports on experiences made with regard to concrete impacts and benefits for the local population


Medellin's Metrocables, economic and social aspects
Jorge Ramos
Chief of Aerial Cables Metro de Medellín Ltda.


Ropeway investments create prosperity in the Alps
Peter Schröcksnadel
Entrepreneur, ski resort developer, President of the Austrian Ski Federation (ÖSV)


The presentation discusses the impact of ropeway investments on employment, the economy, tourism, sports, regional infrastructure and migration to urban areas


Grow or perish? The growth challenge for Europe's ski resorts
Klaus Grabler


Skiing demand is stagnating at present. In parallel, costs and investment pressures on ski resorts increase which, as a result, can only survive by rising prices. The presentation explores potential alternative growth strategies and highlights levers that can boost demand again

Session 2 "Operation of ropeways: Technical and economic aspects"

Objective risk – personal perception
Keynote speaker:
Manfred Müller
Lufthansa aircraft captain and instructor for risk management

Despite enormous achievements in engineering and computer science the human operator is still extremely important when a complex process requires a high safety level.Humans make mistakes, however optimum team interaction can identify and correct human errors and is an important tool for risk management.

Giuseppe Pellegrini - Diego Scofano

Continuous Motion, Constant Emotion - How to operate 365 days a year
Diego Scofano
Mechanical Engineer, Technical Director at Sugar Loaf Cable Car in Rio de Janeiro
Giuseppe Pellegrini
Mechanical Engineer, Director of Engineering at Sugar Loaf Cable Car in Rio de Janeiro


Report on the operational experience of the Cia Caminho Aéreo Pão de Açúcar that manages the Sugar Loaf Cable Car. The care and maintenance routines ensure availability over 99.5% with operations on every day of the year.

rechts Harald Pechlaner

Seasonality – what is seasonality? Paths to year-round operation in mountain destinations
Michael Volgger
Senior Researcher at the Institute for Regional Development and Location Management at Eurac research and Senior Lecturer at Curtin University
Harald Pechlaner
Head of Institute at the Institute for Regional Development and Location Management at Eurac research; Chair in Tourism at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt
Gerhard Vanzi
Senior Research Affiliate at the Institute for Regional Development and Location Management at Eurac research

Gerhard Vanzi

By looking at the case example of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and tourism destination of Dolomites in Italy, the presentation provides some concrete tools and models that support product design in mountain destinations in order to reach a stepwise extension from mainly winter-focused towards year-round operations

A tool for controlling risks in ropeway operation: the safety management system
Gaëtan Rioult
Head of the Ropeway Division of STRMTG (Service technique des remontées mécaniques et des transports guidés) - Directorate General for Infrastructure, Transport and the Sea (France)

The analysis of ropeway accidents shows that organizational and human factors related to employees regularly play a role in the course of such events. The objective of the presentation is to demonstrate the usefulness of safety management systems and to illustrate the potentials of this tool by specific examples.

rechts Michael Arnold

Digitization: The key to raising efficiency
Michael Arnold
Responsibility for SisControl, SISAG

The tourism and ropeway industry faces extremely high pressures today and tomorrow. This requires instruments, such as software tools, that make operations more effective, faster and more flexible. This can be achieved to a large extent by the consistent and smart digitization data and by networking them

Driverless operation of ropeways
Thibault Chatelus
Ropeway Division of STRMTG (Service technique des remontées mécaniques et des transports guidés) - Directorate General for Infrastructure, Transport and the Sea (France)

The contribution presents the analyses performed in recent years in France and the findings obtained for the operation of ropeways without permanently present operating staff. Concrete examples are used to highlight the issues requiring particular attention during the construction and operation of such systems.

A dream of the "O.I.T.A.F. Congress 2053"
Pier Giorgio Graziano
Former technical director of the ropeway manufacturer Agudio, head of the Working Group "Material transport ropeways and cable cranes" of O.I.T.A.F., amateur novelist

A fictitious dream voyage to the year 2053 when the O.I.T.A.F Congress again takes place in Bolzano: This provides an occasion for looking back to 2017 and remembering the then O.I.T.A.F. Congress. In the course of the Congress, a ropeway packed with of exciting innovations that was initiated by O.I.T.A.F. and built in a joint effort of all the manufacturers is inaugurated.

Session 3: Ropeway technology only

Holidays in the mountains - future trends
Ulf Sonntag
Head of Market Research of the NIT - Institute for Tourism and Spa Research in Northern Europe

After a brief look at global tourist flows and their development, the presentation discusses travel behaviors, demands and requirements of international tourists from important source markets as well as the resulting conclusions and trends for holidays in the mountains and ropeway utilization..

Iwan Bissig

Taking jig-back ropeways to the limit
Iwan Bissig
Garaventa AG

CCC – The City Cable Car illustrated by the example of Wälderbahn
Peter Luger
, Michael Mathis
Doppelmayr Seilbahnen

State of the art of the 3S technology
Giorgio Pilotti

Design and production of high-tech components of cableway vehicles
Claudio Tonetta


New challenges of O&M related to Urban and Tourism Ropeways
Michael Fauche

Sven Winter - Marina Härtel

Latest findings on the possibilities and limitations of visual rope inspection
Marina Härtel – Sven Winter – Konstantin Kühner
Institute of Mechanical Handling and Logistics, University of Stuttgart
Urs Amiet
Swiss federal bureau of transport


For the first time, findings and ratios are presented for the factors influencing the results of visual rope inspections. A new evaluation system developed makes it possible to give a quantitative assessment of those risk factors.

Boris Sosic

Andrea Cernigoi

Performance analysis of open magneto-inductive detectors
Aldo Canova
Department of Energy, Polytechnic University of Turin
Regina Lamedica, Ezio Santini
Department of Aeronautics, Electrical and Energetics Engineering, Sapienza University (Rome)
Ettore Pedrotti
L.A.T.I.F. (Technological Ropeway Laboratory), Office of Ropeways and Ski Slopes, Autonomous Province of Trento
Andrea Cernigoi, Boris Sosic
Laboratory of nondestructive testing "Di Santolo", Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Trieste

Results of research to assess the performance of an "open" instrument for the MRT testing of ropes in terms of magnetization and magnetic flux leakage detection.

Konstantin Kühner

Using fiber ropes in ropeway installation
Konstantin Kühner
Institute of Mechanical Handling and Logistics, University of Stuttgart
Urs Schneider
Jakob AG (CH)
Fredy von Moos
Garaventa AG (CH)

Modern high-strength fiber ropes can offer major advantages during the installation of ropeways in rough terrain: they can be directly transported by helicopter and permit the direct mounting of the heavy main rope. But how can this be done safely when there are hardly any experiences available for this application? The contribution presents the path from the first idea and accompanying laboratory tests to the implementation of an innovative hoist.

Session 4 "Sustainability of ropeways


The future of urban cableways - dealing with an urgent challenge in Europe
Keynote speaker:
Heiner Monheim
Transport expert, emeritus professor of applied geography, urban and regional development and spatial planning at the University of Trier, and partner in raumkom - Institute of Regional Development and Communication, Trier/Bonn/Malente

Experiences made in current urban ropeway projects, problems of integrating them into public transport systems and the urban fabric, conclusions drawn on the basis of system comparisons for sensible fields of application, typical problems arising during implementation.

The green side of a ropeway company - the example of Schmittenhöhebahn AG/Zell am See, the only ropeway operator certified under EMAS worldwide
Erich Egger
CEO of Schmittenhöhebahn AG

It is up to each ropeway operator to make a contribution to balancing the diverse interests at the interface between ecology and the economy. The presentation focuses on practical examples and on how they are reflected in communications.

On the natural advantages of a ropeway project. Hangursbanen, Voss- Norway
Kåre Flatlandsmo
Project manager of the Norwegian R&D program "Safety of Aerial Ropeways"

The concept of ecosystem services is used to estimate, in economic terms, the ecological advantage of placing the lower station of an aerial ropeway project literally right next to a busy railway station.

Trends in North American urban cable – 2016
Mike Deiparine
Professional Engineer, Senior Project Manager, Engineering Specialties Group
Jim Fletcher
Professional Engineer, Fellow ASCE, Senior Consultant, Engineering Specialties Group

Evaluation of the history and current developments of urban cable in North America. It will discuss the recent trends, the concerns and the opportunities seen for this market.


The Dolomites - an admirable region
Sandro Lazzari
Active in the ropeway industry since the 1960s, first in Val Gardena and then in the Fassa Valley. President of A.N.E.F. from 1993 to 2014. President of FIANET (International Federation of Ropeway Operators) for nine years. Member of O.I.T.A.F.'s Management Committee since 1993, President of Dolomiti Superski for nine years

This region that is ideal for ropeways and lifts is a role model of a well-functioning ropeway industry that established an integrated economic chain from production to application and, at the same time, is the driver of an extensive supply industry that stands out by continuous innovation and a strong focus on sustainability.

The ecological footprint of a ropeway in urban transport areas
Klaus Erharter
Technical Director, Leitner Ropeways

The ecological sustainability of investment projects plays a more and more important role in decision-making processes. The paper presents the ecological footprint of a ropeway across its life cycle and a comparison with a traditional mode of transport. The ecological sustainability of a ropeway can be calculated on the basis of statistical data by inputting a few parameters into a calculation tool.


Economic comparison of transport modes in urban public transportation
Jessica Gürth
Institute for Transport and Logistics Management, University of Economics and Bussines, Vienna

Overview of infrastructure, personnel and other criteria, for comparison with alternative means of transport

Has not yet been released for publication by the author



Solving complex problems often requires the incorporation of multiple perspectives and the knowledge of many disciplines. The workshop «Design Thinking on Ropeways» (DTR) held at Toblach-Dobiacco - South Tyrol from 19.05 - 24.05.2017 allowed the students of UNIBZ & NABA to experimentailly explore the potential of interdisciplinary collaboration by creating a shared situation awareness and establishing a common language in addressing problems for future scenarios of Ropeways. The foundation for a successful co−creation between: UNIBZ (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano) and DOLOMITI SUPERSKI.

The Projects
The students of UNIBZ & NABA developed 8 projects on how Ropeways might be used in the future.

Book of Design Thinking on Ropeways

Public session:  Ropeway history Uphill, the history of ropeways

South Tyrol: The First Aerial Ropeways
Wittfrida Mitterer


Italy: The First Hundred Years of Ropeway Installations 1850-1950
Giuliano Zannotti (I)


Switzerland: "Mechanization takes command"
Karin Zaugg
Art historian (CH)


Germany: The Company A. Bleichert & Co. Leipzig and the Contract Bleichert-Zuegg
Manfred Hötzel
Leipzig (D)


Other papers which have been submitted to the international congress, but will not be presented verbally by their author


Influence of volcanic ash on fatigue life of steel wire ropes
Matías Cersósimo / IPH, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Jorge López-Digon / INTI, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Juan Lattanzio / INTI, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Germán Menne / IPH, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Juan Pablo Percossi / IPH, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ignacio Talatinian / INTI, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The challenges in the face of climatic change
Alessandro Conci
Autonomous Province of Trento (I)
Short comparison between the single realities in the Alps

System "Fu.Ne." Overhead Track for Public Transport – an innovative project for mobility:
a case study for the city of Parma
ing. Guiduberto Galloni

A new approach to the Urban Transportation by cable, a sort of Copernican revolution
Andrea Marocchi
Dover - NH – USA

A newer installation as local development way
Sérgio Oliveira, Civil Engineer, Site Manager

Challenges to design and construction of cable cars in historic sites. Vila Nova de Gaia cable car.
Sérgio Oliveira, Civil Engineer, Site Manager

A dynamic analysis and simulation of ropeways on basis of a discreet representation
of successive approximation algorithms

David Pataraia

Cable ropeway simulation: computation and visualization of complex mechanical systems
M. Wenin, M. Irschara, S. Obexer, M. L. Bertotti and G. Modanese