Avoriaz world premiere

The Airmetro® 3S links the snow and the city

Interfacing between two different worlds, the Morzine-Avoriaz Prodains Express ushers in a new generation of aerial ropeways. With this cross between Alpine and urban styles, Poma and its loyal customer Serma have created an avant-garde solution that is also a world first.

“This sizable installation is the response to a clear objective,” explains Christian Bouvier, Sales Manager and Vice-President of the Executive Board. “It provides two services – as the main feeder installation for the daily transfer of thousands of skiers to the magnificent slopes of the Avoriaz-Les Portes du Soleil resorts, and as the major entry point to hotels and condos for tourists arriving throughout the day and night – and also caters for two very different types of customer: some with skis and others with children and luggage. To sum up, we needed to design a veritable peri-urban aerial ropeway! This was the experiment that our systems engineers successfully undertook.”

Purpose-driven design
David Bonnefois is one of those engineers. He gives us his impressions of the AirMetro® 3S and its package of innovations: “We needed to come up with a solution that guaranteed passengers a safe return to the station in the event of a breakdown without using vertical evacuation. The redundant system method was the answer, and it was implemented by doubling up on the essential functions – drive and power supply. It’s as if your car had a flat tyre and the engine failed at the same time, and yet you were able to continue to drive your vehicle safely. This concept ensures optimum passenger safety, since passengers remain in the protected environment of the gondola while returning to the station.”

“In line with Avoriaz' commitment to ecology (environmentally integrated station, car-free access), we designed a very compact underground top station. The footprint on the edge of the cliff was reduced by using cantilevered towers jutting out into the air – a rare feat of engineering! Another highlight is the particularly well-organized passenger loading arrangement. Our cabin transport system provides a momentary stop in the station for easy loading. Panoramic windows, lighting, radios – each of the 14 Sigma Saphir cabins offers a highly comfortable ride for up to 35 passengers. One of the avant-garde and eco-friendly design features of the AirMetro® 3S is capacity adjustment to match demand. The Prodains Express offers maximum safety and flexibility at high speed (7 m/sec) and in total comfort. It is the first detachable aerial ropeway to successfully merge skier requirements with urban transport availability.

Alain BLAS, CEO of Serma

“The new Prodains AirMetro® 3S aerial ropeway completely meets our expectations, thanks especially to an integrated safety system that permits cabins to be returned to the station without having to evacuate passengers. Entirely integrated into the landscape, this new ropeway is a perfect fit with the surroundings and an efficient solution as the principle mode of access to the resort. With the underground configuration of the top station, noise pollution has been significantly reduced. Last but not least, we hope that this new aerial ropeway will also reduce traffic between Morzine and Avoriaz.”

Airmetro® 3S Prodains express

Rated capacity 2400 pphpd
Vertical rise 575m
Line length 1751m
Transit time 4 min 25 sec

With cabins from Sigma from the snow to the city. Photo: Sigma

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