MINICITY: The King Shaka International Airport at the Dube TradePort at La Mercy, north of Durban. PICTURE: Russell Cleaver

Cape Town - Cape Town Airport may be the centre of a minicity with residential, business and industrial areas in a few years. There is a growing trend, worldwide, to make airports into “aerotropoli”, which Johannesburg and Durban are already starting to follow.

Cape Town Airport’s general manager, Deon Cloete, is enthusiastically in favour, pointing out that its situation near Table Bay harbour and on the route between emerging markets in the Far East and South America makes it an ideal staging post for travellers and goods. But, Cloete points out, it needs rail access and the City of Cape Town needs to install adequate services.

In Durban the development of a minicity that will include the airport is already being planned as part of the huge Dube trade port. The trade port’s website points out that, as globalisation spreads, airports are increasingly attracting investment and growth to their surroundings.

Talks are in progress between Airports Company, South Africa (Acsa) and Ekurhuleni, adjoining Pretoria, over plans to develop an aerotropolis centred on OR Tambo Airport. Welcoming this, Andrew Davidson, the general manager of the Inter-Continental Hotel at the airport, said that hotel groups in this country had already realised the need for retail, conference and accommodation development near airports. The nationality of guests staying at airport hotels showed that business between SA and other emerging markets was growing.


Ethiopian Airlines, which flies into Johannesburg, connecting it with Addis Ababa, is the first airline in Africa to take delivery of Boeing’s new Dreamliner aircraft. It is the second airline in the world to get it – the first was Japanese airline All Nippon Airlines (ANA).

The Dreamliner, which is made of lightweight composite materials, is the first medium-sized plane capable of operating long-haul routes. It arrived in Addis Ababa on Tuesday and was flown to Washington to be put on display before making its first commercial flight back to its home airport. Ethiopian Airlines, which, with SAA and Kenya Airways, is one of the three most highly regarded airlines in Africa, has nine more Dreamliners on order.


Any aircraft enthusiasts who will be in Britain next weekend during the August bank holiday weekend will have a chance to see the oldest twin-engined jet aircraft, the Air Atlantique Classic Flight’s Meteor T7, fly at Dunsfold’s “Wings and Wheels” event.

The Meteor on show was built in 1949 and flew for the RAF for the last time in 1963.

It flew again for the first time in 2011 after restoration work lasting several years. - Weekend Argus