Founded in 1974 by the initiative of nineteen Nations, the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA) which aims are:

«ITA, the leading international organization promoting the use of tunnels and underground space through knowledge sharing and application of technology»

to encourage the use of the subsurface for the benefit of public, environment and sustainable development and to promote advances in planning, design, construction, maintenance and safety of tunnels and underground space, by bringing together information thereon and by studying questions related thereto.

The General Assembly

The General Assembly, which met annually, resolves all questions concerning the organisation and conducts of the affairs of the Association;

  • it shall approve the budget of receipts and expenditure, and appoint and organise all Committees of the Association;

  • it shall decide on the admission of new adhering national Organisation and of the new affiliate member. 
The General Assembly is host by a Member Nation at the occasion of the yearly World Tunnel Congress.
  • To encourage new uses of underground space for the benefit of the public, environment, and sustainable development.

  • To encourage studies of underground alternatives to surface construction, not only considering construction costs but also indirect life-cycle costs and savings as well as social and environmental advantages.

  • To stimulate the development of guidelines for a positive public strategy to take advantage of subsurface potential.

  • To encourage the development of better and cheaper methods for planning, geo-investigation, design, construction, operation, maintenance and safety of underground structures by using improved methods such as new technical developments and risk management principles.

  • To improve training of everyone, especially young professionals, by conducting workshops, by improving and coordinating academic programs worldwide, and by improved on-the-job training.

  • To bring together engineers, owners and others involved in the development of underground space, such as architects, planners, authorities, economists, lawyers, insurers, financers and politicians.

  • To arrange international exchange on developments in underground technology and experience from its use.
To reach its objectives, ITA has set up international working groups (WG) to study and report on specific topics. Today, 13 working groups are active.

ITA has 4 committees:

  • ITA-COSUF, Committee on Operational Safety in Underground facilities with the cooperation of the World Road Association-PIARC and all the major European fire research organizations

  • ITA-CET, Committee on Education and Training, nicknamed «University Network»

  • ITA-CUS, Committee on Underground Space

  • ITAtech, Committee on New Technologies ITA has also another group called Young Members Group
The International Tunneling Association (ITA) and the World Road Association have signed a memorandum of understanding to ensure complementarity and synergy in their activities.

In 1957, the World Road Association set up a Technical Committee on "Road Tunnel Operations". The International Underground Works Association, now the International Tunneling and Underground Space Association (ITA), was established in 1974.

In 2005, they signed a memorandum of understanding outlining the respective work scopes and setting a formal framework to organize further cooperation. The World Road Association, in order to provide continuity in the activities carried out since 1957, assumes leadership in study areas of tunnel geometry, equipment, operations, safety and environment in road tunnels. ITA, in the area of road tunnels, assumes leadership in the area of civil engineering, design and construction technology. In addition, ITA is the host of an exchange network on safety matters in tunnels whatever the type of tunnel.

In terms of safety, ITA, in consultation with the World Road Association, has created in 2005 the Committee on operational safety of underground facilities (ITA-COSUF).
ITA-AITES website

International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association


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