The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality’s executive mayor Clr Mondli Gungubele says he is confident that the city is in pole position to maximise on the advantages of hosting the first ever Airport Cities World Conference and Exhibition (ACE) 2013 on African soil in April.
He says the metro’s partnership with the Airports Company South Africa has been formalised and, out of that, a task team has been set up to ensure synergy of all aspects of planning towards the event on April 24 to 26 at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park.
ACE, now in its 11th year, is the annual event for airport chief executive officers, airlines, economic development agencies, real estate developers, architects and planners as well as businesses benefitting from the proximity to the runway and taking citizenship in the Airport City/Aerotropolis
“To us hosting ACE carries an added significance in our stated intention to become Africa’s most dynamic Aerotropolis.”
“It is the culmination of many years of learning, as a result of which we have come to appreciate the potential that lies in us leveraging on the location of the OR Tambo International Airport within our space to benefit the residents of our City, Province, country and indeed the continent,” he says.
Clr Gungubele marvelled at the opportunities that ACE presents to the people of Ekurhuleni - these range from showcasing the OR Tambo International Airport infrastructure, the City of Ekurhuleni and its surrounding infrastructure; influencing the high level delegates attending the conference on hospitality, ease of airline operations and connectivity to a number of destinations and reaching a broader market through the marketing opportunities derived from the conference, and the money that the delegates would be spending on tourist-related activities.
The mayor emphasises that these benefits will directly change the lives of the ordinary people - the vision of the Ekurhuleni Aerotropolis is of a City in which the urban renewal plans find direct expression.
“Even as we develop the roads infrastructure that directly link to the current Aerotropolis plans, it is important for our people to keep in mind that they are the ultimate beneficiaries of this major endeavour,” he explains.
The previous hosts of ACE include Dubai, Detroit, Rome, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Beijing, Dallas, Memphis and Denver.
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