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First aerotropolis in Africa is launched

Ekurhuleni will host 2013 Airport Cities World Conference

15 July 2011 | Annalie Reid

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EKURHULENI Metro will host the 2013 Airport Cities World Conference and Exhibition because of its commitment to the aerotropolis concept.

Ekurhuleni is currently developing the first aerotropolis in Africa.

The "father" of this developmental concept, Prof John Kasarda, at the launch at OR Tambo Airport yesterday, said an aerotropolis included a giant airport, planned city, shipping facility and business hub.

In the past an airport had a natural buffer between it and the city. This has changed by making airports business magnets.

He said an airport in the digital age was the physical manifestation of this new age of the internet, which brought about globalism and new markets that need speed in getting around, must have IT advances, be able to adapt and be able to connect people and goods worldwide.

Mr Alex Kirby, managing director of Insight Media, which planned the 2013 Airport Cities World Conference and Exhibition, said the way airports functioned had changed. It nowadays provided more than aeronautical services. For the purpose of sharing ideas and best practises, the first conference was held in 2002 for delegations that grasped and implemented the aerotropolis concept.

Next year's conference is in Denver, Colorado.

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