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AIRPORT CITIES EARMARKED AS MAJOR ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT DRIVERS IN SOUTH AFRICA AND GLOBALLY
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 | 00:00

 Hosting the 2013 Airport Cities World Conference and Exhibition (ACE) from 24 – 26 April – a major coup for Ekurhuleni / O.R. Tambo International Airport

Ekurhuleni, South Africa, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 – Airports Company South Africa’s network of nine airports provides the connectivity, accessibility and location for economic growth and development locally and globally. The company’s flagship airport, O.R. Tambo International, which has been viewed as the ‘aerotropolis model for Africa’ is proud to be the host airport alongside the City of Ekurhuleni at Africa’s first Airport Cities World Conference and Exhibition taking place at Emperors Palace from 24 to 26 April 2013.

Airports are natural drivers of local and regional economic development, forming the core of regional growth. Connectivity is the essential glue that binds so many businesses to a well-connected facilitator, and Airports Company South Africa’s network of nine airports provides the ideal matrix for connections across the globe. Whether the requirement is local, regional, within the SADC region, the African continent, Europe, North America or within the BRICS grouping of nations, Airports Company South Africa provides the gateway. The concept of ‘aerocities’ and ‘aerotropolises’ is a logical extension of the evolution of major airports and, is recognised and welcomed in South Africa.
  
“Airports are the fastest emerging developmental nodes and South Africa’s airports are ideally positioned to add impetus and direction to these exciting economic growth points. The aerocity concept is a highly attractive option for businesses that want to move out of conventional central business districts and have a need for the best domestic and international connectivity, combined with 24/7 security,” says Bongani Maseko, Airports Company South Africa’s Acting Managing Director.

The ACE event is a first for Africa, and a big coup for the City of Ekurhuleni, O.R. Tambo International Airport, Gauteng and South Africa as a whole. Having started in 2002, the 11th world conference will include an Airport City tour championed by Ekurhuleni. The half-day tour will commence at the airport before proceeding to other areas of the aerotropolis.

In April 2011, the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality announced its intention to transform its municipal district into a fully-functioning aerotropolis, with O.R. Tambo International at its epicentre. This is a natural decision, simply based on the airport’s success as a ‘hub’ – providing unrivalled and essential interconnectivity across Africa and the world. In 2012, the airport handled more than 19 million passengers, more than 310 000 tons of cargo and 212 000 air traffic movements. Development plans for O.R. Tambo International include a 20 000 square metre office block, a 14-hectare industrial park and the creation of an industrial development zone that will feature a jewellery manufacturing facility.

Airports Company South Africa is a platinum sponsor at this year’s ACE conference and one of the biggest exhibitors. At least three of the company’s speakers for the conference will provide a platform for sharing experiences and information regarding the growth and development of airport cities around the world.

“The exhibition and conference will provide an ideal platform for networking and the unveiling of some of the most innovative thinking in terms of the aerocity and aerotropolis concepts,” said Maseko, adding that the event would also add to O.R. Tambo International Airport’s growing stature as a world-class airport.

Conference and exhibition delegates will include airport executives, planners, project managers and executives from the retail, marketing, security and development agency industries and arenas.


For more information, please contact:

Unathi Batyashe-Fillis – O.R. Tambo International Airport, Spokesperson
Office Number: +27 (0) 11 921 6087
Mobile:  +27 (0) 79 882 7307
E-mail: Unathi.Batyashe-Fillis@airports.co.za

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