African Renaissance Conference  24- 26 May 2018




    The development of an aerotropolis is one of the catalytic projects that have been identified by the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy (PGDS).

    The aerotropolis is also one of the projects identified by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Committee (PICC) under strategic infrastructure Projects (SIP2). Firstly, an aerotropolis can be defined as “a multimodal freight and passenger transportation complex which supports efficient, cost-effective, sustainable development in a defined region of economic significance centered around a major airport.” (Source: United States Congress H.R.658: Aerotropolis Act of 2011). Thus, an aerotropolis is a

    constellation of physical, institutional, economic and policy interventions which upgrade local assets, reduce ground-based transport times and costs, and expand global connectivity to leverage aviation-enabled trade in goods and services for business competitiveness, job creation and prosperity

    of those at all socio-economic levels. It is a type of urban form comprising aviation intense businesses and related enterprises.

    The most competitive firms and cities will be those that connect their products and people faster and more efficiently to the global marketplace. China, India, South Korea and other Asian nations as well as a number of Middle Eastern nations recognize this and are investing heavily in their airports and

    aerotropoli as competitive tools for global commerce and trade.

    To implement the Aerotropolis in the province, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT) is currently in the process of developing an Integrated Provincial Aerotropolis Strategy (IAS). The department envisages the IAS to be a guiding strategic document for advising the provincial government

    in terms of implementing the concept in the province. The IAS seeks to build on the already developed Dube TradePort (DTP) sixty-year master plan, which also aims to advance aerotropolis development

    around King Shaka International Airport. It further seeks to synergise operations in and around the airport

    by bringing together competing visions for the area, consulting affected municipalities, government departments, stateowned entities and other major private sector landowners. The strategy will help to

    clearly map out the spatial implications of the Aerotropolis and its implications to the surrounding areas of Durban, uMhlanga, KwaDukuza (Balito) including the Dube TradePort’s and Richards Bay’s Special

    Economic Zones (SEZ).

    The KwaZulu-Natal Aerotropolis is expected to incorporate Dube city, King Shaka International Airport, the Dube Tradeport and areas that fall within a one hour travel time from King Shaka International Airport. KwaZulu-Natal’s comparative advantage lies in the fact that KZN aerotropolis is one of the few

    around the world utilising a “greenfield site” which is tailor made purposely as a platform to support air-logistics. This creates the opportunity to put in place a plan that responds and capitalises on the location

    of the airport.

    It is the belief by the DEDT that the establishment of the Dube TradePort SEZ together with the Aerotropolis will be the linchpin for the development of a 21st generation city around King Shaka International Airport to support sustainable jobs and increased economic activity.