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The International Tunnelling Association held its twenty sixth annual meeting in Durban from 13 to 17 May, in conjunction with the World Tunnel Congress 2000 organized by the South African Tunnelling Society, SANCOT and the Lesotho Tunnelling Society. The meetings were attended by representatives, delegates, observers and working group members from 29 of the 50 Member Nations of the Association.

MEMBER NATIONS REPRESENTED

South Africa, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Korea, Denmark, Egypt, Spain, United States of America, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Lesotho, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, Slovak Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Turkey.

MEMBER NATIONS NOT REPRESENTED

Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Canada, China (Peopleís Republic of), Columbia, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Ukraine, Venezuela.

MEMBERSHIP

The Association has registered the membership of 3 new Member Nations (Argentina, Israel and Malaysia), 22 new Affiliate Members (10 Corporate Members and 12 Individual Members), taking the total to 50 Member Nations and 273 Affiliate Members (90 Corporate Members and 183 Individual Members) taking into account radiations and resignations.

STRATEGY OF THE ASSOCIATION

The Association decided to implement an action plan to reach the goals of the strategic axe for the coming years "ITA, the unquestioned leader of underground space".

The action plan includes:

  • Creation of a full time secretariat, including, first of all a general Secretary and a secretary

The development of the following priority actions:

  • development of the internet site: opening of public and private forums for the Working Groups, the Member Nations and the Executive Council, the finalization of the glossary, and, of course the regular updating of the site;
  • improvment of the communication of the Association toward decison-makers, toward the general public, and within the Association, preparation of material adapted to education
  • improvment of the relations of the Working Groups with the Executive Council and the Member Nations, and the development of their role in terms of education.

COMMUNICATION

Tribune:

Last year 4 issues of TRIBUNE were published including focus on France, China, Netherlands and Southern African countries. The average circulation has been around 2 700 copies per issue.

Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology:

In the fourteenth volume of TUST, 49 papers representing 12 countries were published. Two special issues featured tunnelling projects in the Netherlands and Singapore, respectively, and a feature section of issue 14:3 focused on Egyptian tunnelling. In the next year TUST will publish several reports by ITA working groups. The editorial board members of TUST met during the ITA congress in Durban.

Web Site:

The Association has had a web site since 1998. During the year 1999, the site received 285 000 successful requests from 10 000 people coming from 80 countries. The site is updated on an average of 10 times a year and new topics have been added, specifically concerning forthcoming events, a list of educational centres on underground works. The most visited pages are the ones of the glossary, the focuses and Tribune. Forums for the Working Groups have been implemented.

Glossary:

A first version of the glossary has been implemented on the web. This is a provisional version and will be completed during the coming year.

Promotion Book:

The Executive Council replied favorably to the offer of the publisher BERTELSMANN for the publication of a book on the promotion of underground works, a book that constitutes the second part of the publications at the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of ITA. BERTELSMANN published, on ITA's behalf, this book, which notably includes the description of 65 outstanding underground works in 25 countries members of the Association.

FIRE SAFETY IN TUNNELS

The Association and its national Swiss group, the specialized group for Underground works (GTS) of the SIA, co-organized a seminar on fire safety in transport tunnels on the 23rd and 24th of March in Lausanne, with the participation of sister associations to the ITA: the PIARC, the UIC (International Railway Union), the UITP (International Union for Public Transport) and the UN (Economic Commission for Europe).

This international exchange led to the drawing up of possibilities for common studies and research between the different means of transport. They involve in particular the training operators, user information, the construction of a trial tunnel and smoke control.

ITA OPEN SESSION

The ITA Open Session 2000 was devoted to the theme "Mining and Civil Works: Shaft Construction". Paper presentations and discussions demonstrated the benefits of the interaction between mining and civil professionals for the development of technology towards the use of the underground space.

NEXT ANNUAL MEETINGS

  • Milan (Italy) from June 10 to 13, 2001 during the ITA-AITES 2001, World Tunnel Congress « Progress in Tunnelling after 2000 » organized by Italy and Switzerland.
  • Sydney (Australia) spring 2002 during the ITA-AITES 2002 World Tunnel Congress « Down under » organized by Australia and Singapore.
  • Amsterdam (Netherlands) from 14 to 17 April 2003, during the ITA-AITES 2003 « (Re)claiming the Underground Space »