Introduction to Airport Real Estate
Vienna, 4-5 December 2023

Airport City Academy is an executive training academy that equips decision makers with the tools they need to plan and develop successful airport real estate projects. Designed for senior airport managers and future airport leaders—and for planners and developers working in airport areas—ACA’s intensive two-day course is tailored to the career needs of busy professionals who are eager to deepen their knowledge and expand their skill set in a short time.

ACA is led by Dr. Max Hirsh (PhD, Harvard) and Pieter van der Horst (MSc MRE MRICS), two leading airport city experts with complementary backgrounds in aviation, real estate, and urban development. Guest lectures by legal, financial, and design professionals highlight the “big picture” issues that fundamentally determine the success or failure of any airport-led development project.

Who should register?

Designed for first-time applicants, the introductory course provides a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of airport real estate and airport-led urban development. Training modules, group discussions, and real-world case studies empower our members to apply classroom learning to their own unique challenges and opportunities.

The curriculum is designed for participants at all stages of the development process, and all stages of their career. Whether you’re just starting out, or are a seasoned professional looking for new insights, the introductory course offers a leading-edge perspective on proven success strategies and emerging opportunities.

Participants will learn how to:

  • create a compelling project vision that leverages the airport’s USPs
  • develop site-specific strategies to diversify the airport’s revenue sources
  • drive the project forward from concept to implementation
  • determine which delivery model is the best fit for your organization
  • build support among key stakeholders
  • create a solid business case that attracts investors and end users
  • integrate sustainability into the development process

Meet the Experts

Airport City Academy is led by subject matter experts with extensive experience in aviation, real estate, and urban development.

Max Hirsh (PhD, Harvard) is managing director of the Airport City Academy and a leading global expert on airports and urban development. Dr. Hirsh pioneered the airport urbanism (AU) method: a customer-focused approach to developing airport real estate and planning the airport area. Drawing on 15 years of industry experience, Dr. Hirsh advises airports, governments, and developers around the world on projects ranging from single-plot developments to large-scale regional masterplans.

Pieter van der Horst (MSc MRE MRICS) is Managing Director of the Airport City Academy and a leading expert on airport real estate development and non-aeronautical revenues. Pieter has served as project director at Schiphol Real Estate and Schiphol Area Development Company, where he manages a portfolio of commercial, industrial, and mixed-use properties on behalf of the world’s most successful airport city developer. Pieter has also served as a commercial planner and Chief Commercial Officer at airports in Africa, India, and the Middle East.

Arturs Saveljevs, Board Member (commercial and marketing), Riga Airport
Arturs began his aviation career in 2003 when he joined Riga Airport Operations. He has held various roles at the airport & in September 2017 he joined the Management Board of Riga Airport & is currently responsible for all the airport’s commercial activities and marketing.
He holds a master’s degree in airport planning and management from Cranfield University and a master’s degree in international economics from the University of Latvia. He is actively contributing to Airports Council International (ACI) activities by being a member of the ACI EUROPE Commercial Forum where he also served as the Chairman and as the Head of the Airport City/Real Estate Task Force. He is a guest lecturer in aviation management at the Transport and Telecommunication Institute and in airport property management at Cranfield University.
Peter de Leeuw, Head of Airport City Development, Vienna Airport
Peter was in the real estate business in Vienna for 25 years before he joined Vienna Airport as a logistics developer in 2014. He currently heads up the Airport City Development Team at Vienna Airport which does not only include the concepts and the overall strategy of the airport city development, but also the transformation process from a non-aviation airport area into the most attractive and well-known business location in the region.
He holds a master’s degree in real estate development and management and has been specializing in the field of airport city development since 2017. 

Maria Krylova, Senior Consultant, M2P Consulting

Maria has a background in architecture and urban development and a passion for aviation. She specializes in aviation infrastructure construction, blending architecture, project management, and consultancy to handle project complexity and stakeholder coordination. Previously she has worked as an Airport Planner and Infrastructure Project Manager with a focus on terminal design and Advanced Air Mobility. Most recently she has worked on building infrastructure for air taxi aircraft testing, final assembly, and maintenance at Volocopter. Currently, she is a Senior Consultant focusing on transport and mobility. Maria holds an MBA in Aviation Management, a Master in International Cooperation and Urban Development, and a Diploma in Urban Planning. Her research focuses on Airport Cities and Advanced Air Mobility infrastructure integration with the aim of incorporating urban development principles into aviation infrastructure planning. Maria lives in Frankfurt, loves meeting people and dancing salsa and bachata in her free time.

Course Programme

Sunday 3 December 2023
16.00 – 17.00  Welcome drinks in bar at NH Hotel Vienna Airport

Monday 4 December 2023
08.45   Refreshments on arrival
09.00   Welcome & Introduction
09.15   Module One: Key drivers of Airport-Led Urban Development
10.30   Refreshment break
10.45   Module Two: Development models and insights from the Real Estate Industry
12.00   Lunch break
13.00   Expert panel: Interactive session on main Airport City topics
15.00   Refreshment break
15.15   Working Session One: Finding opportunities, based on real cases and challenges
17.00   End of day one
19.00   Travel to dinner
19.30   Networking dinner

Tuesday 5 December 2023
08.45  Refreshments on arrival
09.00  Welcome & Overview
09.45  Study Tour: Airport City Development in action, including interviews with end-users
13.00  Lunch break
14.00  Working Session Two: Feedback on working session one and planning the next steps
15.45  Reflection & presentation of certificates
16.30  End of day two

Location & Accommodation

The two-day course will take place at AirportCity Space at Vienna International Airport on 4-5 December 2023. This state-of-the-art venue was opened in September 2020. For further information, please visit:

We are pleased to confirm that MICE Concierge have been appointed as the official accommodation agent for the Airport City Academy 2023.

The headquarters hotel will be the Hotel NH Vienna Airport – where MICE Concierge have secured preferential conference rates. As it is the headquarters hotel, we highly recommend that you stay at the Hotel NH Vienna Airport to benefit from its very short walk from the AirportCity Space and the additional networking opportunities.

For further information on booking accommodation, please visit –

Please not that MICE Concierge are the only appointed accommodation agency for the event. If you are contacted by any other agencies not affiliated with the event, please do not engage with them as the organisers cannot confirm their legitimacy.

Course fee: €1,950 (inc. VAT)

The course fee includes all course materials and refreshments (coffee, lunch, drinks reception), as well as the Workshop Dinner on 4 December.

Organizations with 3 or more applicants are eligible for a 15% group discount.

For more information, or to request a group discount, please email