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Regional Airports make significant contribution to South Africa economy

Oct 10, 2018
Regional Airports make significant contribution to South Africa economy

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) regional airports in Port Elizabeth, East London, Kimberley, Upington, George and Bloemfontein are making a significant impact on the South African economy in the form of job creation, contributions to gross domestic product (GDP), tax revenues and investment into infrastructure development.

In the last financial year (FY2017), ACSA and its nine South African airports contributed R9.5 billion towards GDP (0.3% of national GDP), supported 14,950 jobs (direct and indirect) and R2.8 billion of income to workers in South Africa. These figures were determined in a PwC study commissioned by ACSA to explore the size and significance of ACSA’s contribution to the South African economy. The report furthers the understanding of the value that the state-owned-company brings to local and regional economies.

Said Senzeni Ndebele, Airports Company South Africa’s corporate affairs senior manager: “Airports have always had a significant role to play in enabling regional economic growth. They permit connections between cities, which catalyses economic activities through amenities and needs for non-residential passengers in transit, as well as supporting aviation-related services, co-located commercial developments and the provision of infrastructure.”

Port Elizabeth International Airport

Port Elizabeth International Airport is optimally positioned as a city airport which is an important gateway to the tourism market, easy accessed by businesses and visitors alike. It is ideally located within 25 kilometres of the industrial cluster of the Coega Industrial Development Zone; one of the country’s largest Special Economic Zone.

Port Elizabeth International Airport has a direct, indirect and induced impact on the growth of the economy in the regional sector. In 2017 PE International Airport contributed R236 million towards GDP, which amounted to a 0.1% contribution to provincial GDP. The airport has also created 418 jobs in the region with a total income contribution of R74 million for employees in the regional sector.

Airports Company South Africa signed a memorandum of understanding in June with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality (NMBMM) and Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism to enhance air service connectivity between national gateways and the city of Nelson Mandela Bay through Port Elizabeth International Airport.

The airlift project is one of the key pillars to enable seamless movement of people, goods and services linking both water and air transport. Phase one includes the scoping of key new and existing routes at national, regional and intercontinental level to enhance trade and tourism. Phase two and three involve the analysis and identification of potential markets and airline partners and the implementation of identified route opportunities linking Port Elizabeth International Airport.

“Our regional airports are gateways for the growth of domestic tourism and we are committed to exploring partnerships that will catalyse economic opportunities and boost job creation around our regional airports,” said Senzeni Ndebele. 

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