Airport Cities World Conference Comes to Africa for the First Time
LONDON, December 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –
The Airport Cities World Conference and Exhibition (ACE) 2013 is to take place on
African soil for the first time in its 11-year history.
London-based event organiser UBM Live has announced that the milestone event will take
place in the City of Ekurhuleni, South Africa, from April 24-26, 2013.
The City of Ekurhuleni was chosen to host the event as it is home to OR Tambo
International Airport – the busiest gateway in Africa – and already has a strategic road
map in place to become ‘Africa’s first Aerotropolis’.
Alex Kirby, executive vice president of Airport Cities, made the announcement on a
recent trip to South Africa where he met with various stakeholders including the Mayor of
the City of Ekurhuleni as well as representatives from Airports Company South Africa
(ACSA), who own and operate OR Tambo International, Cape Town International and King Shaka
International airports among others in the country.
The Airport Cities World Conference and Exhibition champions the concept that today
airports are more than just gateways for the transportation of goods and people from one
region or country to another.
In fact this historic perception has now given way to a much broader concept of the
airport as a business destination in its own right and as an economic engine for its
region and local communities.
Furthermore, according to Kirby a new strategic approach to airport planning and
associated commercial development, known as the Aerotropolis model, is gaining momentum
around the world.
He said: “It comprises an airport-centred commercial core, called the airport city,
and outlying corridors and clusters of aviation-linked businesses.”
“Airports today are multi-modal, multi-functional enterprises, generating commercial
development both within and beyond its boundaries.”
From humble beginnings in 2002 at the Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando, Florida, where
the first ‘Creating Airport Cities’ conference welcomed 120 delegates and a handful of
exhibitors, the Airport Cities event has grown by more than six times in size over the
last ten years.
Last year Denver International Airport (DIA) – now rebranded as Airport City Denver -
played host to 800 delegates, 50 major corporate sponsors and more than 60 exhibitors.
Kirby said: “We are entering a new phase marked by a different level of political
involvement in the development of Airport Cities.
“The development of Airport Cities and Aerotropoli has now evolved from the airport
via the city to regional or state governments and will soon ultimately rest with national
governments. A few years ago we dealt exclusively with airports as our hosts but this has
now changed with cities and regions taking ownership of the event.”
The ACE event is globally renowned for attracting key decision makers from the
banking, financial, investment and real estate sectors, as well as economic development
councils and other local governments from over the world.
Kirby said it was fitting for the City of Ekurhuleni, and particularly for South
Africa, to host the world conference in 2013 because of South Africa’s position as the
most developed country in Africa, offering the infrastructure and services that can unlock
the region’s frontiers.
ACE 2013 is expecting to welcome at least 800 delegates, including 110 airport
operators representing 45 nations, and more than 60 airport chief executive officers or
The 2013 conference also hopes to attract investment to the City of Ekurhuleni and to
broaden economic relationships between the city and international businesses, as well as
highlighting the potential economic opportunities of establishing other aerotropoli across
The City of Ekurhuleni’s chief operations officer, Dr Imogen Mashazi, said that the
city is determined to capitalise on the opportunity of hosting ACE 2013.
She said: “For the next couple of years the City of Ekurhuleni plans to optimise the
existence of the biggest airport in Africa, together with other key development nodes
under the city’s new growth path – the Aerotropolis.
“This will entail investment on new infrastructure to support logistics, distribution,
and related green industries.”
Airport Cities World Conference and Exhibition 2013 will take place from April 24-26,
2013 at the Emperors Palace Hotel, City of Ekurhuleni, South Africa.
Press registration for the event is now open, so please contact us if you are
interested in attending.
Teresa Heitor Assistant Event Manager - Airport Cities UBM Live Ludgate House 245 Blackfriars Road SE1 9UY London, United Kingdom T - +44(0)207-579-4836 E - email@example.com W - http://www.airportcities.aero
SOURCE Airport Cities – UBM Live