THE PRECINCTS OF THE NATION’S INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS WILL CHANGE WITH THE PLANNED CONSTRUCTION OF PURPOSE-BUILT CITIES, KNOWN AS AEROTROPOLIS, AROUND THESE AIR GATEWAYS, WRITES BENNETT OGHIFO
In developed countries around the world, the spaces around airports, particularly international airports are specially designed and built to complement the infrastructure of these airports. Town Planners and architects as well as other building and construction professionals choose the facilities and features that would be part of these communities.
The term “Aerotropolis” refers to municipalities built or woven around airport which will in turn transform the airport into commercial centers. The concept of aerotropolis as it is interpreted will pave way for improved non-aeronautical revenue sources for the authority and the improvement of the country’s GDP.
Aerotropolis, as they are called, have special features and are designed as an integrated zone, equipped with modern facilities, such as office blocks, business center, beautiful malls, commercial park, sport club, hotel and shuttle buses and taxis transport people to the airport from these communities.
Early this year, President Goodluck Jonathan promised to begin the construction of Aerotropolis around all major airports in the country and that the programme would take off this year with the pilot schemes in Lagos and Abuja and would be extended to Kano, Port Harcourt and Kaduna.
“In the next two to three years, in addition to the Eko Atlantic City, many similar cities will be built,” the president said at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Eko Atlantic City.
He said measures by the government to encourage private sector participation in housing delivery through the public-private scheme were yielding results. “Government has started the implementation of pilot schemes through the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development under the contractor finance initiative.”
The Federal Government, he said intends to increase the scale of implementation in the coming years to deliver more housing units, stating that the government was “working with the state governments to reduce the transaction time and cost of the acquisition of land titles so that we can reach our national objective of reducing the housing deficit through substantial addition to the current stock.”
Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah said the Aerotropolis will focus on the development of infrastructure and business opportunities around the airport, using a cluster based approach to integrate aviation and aviation-related infrastructure with the cities and town. The Aerotropolis will comprise socio-economic district development, commencing with over 200 infrastructure development sites in 2013.
The Federal Ministry of Aviation is committed to propelling the development of Nigeria’s aviation sector and thereby linking Nigeria’s people, goods and services to international markets. The ultimate objective of Nigeria Aerotropolis is a sustainable markets ecosystem, including manufacturing free trade zones, perishables cargo, agro-processing, food courts, residences, ICT clusters, trade and exhibition centres, Medical Clusters, situated around the airports, otherwise know as Nigeria Aerotropolis.
The Nigerian Government is committed to developing World Class Infrastructure in and around Nigeria’s airports and to enhance investors confidence and ease to invest in Nigeria
through its Aerotropolis Nigeria. Given the potential of Aerotropolis Nigeria to attract investment, generate additional traffic (in cargo and passengers), and positively transform
Nigeria’s reputation as the foremost investment destination in Africa, it truly is an opportunity not to be missed.
The Project’s Benefits
Nigeria’s demography and resource-endowment ideally positions it as an attractive, strategically placed as a natural hub for sub-Saharan Africa.
The Aerotropolis Nigeria targets a diversification of economy and economic activity, technology transfer and increased trade through global partnerships, value chain development and rural transformation, especially exploiting Nigeria’s agro-export potential, employment-direct and indirect-new business development-backward and forward integration-and private sector investment-local and foreign.
The Aerotropolis Nigeria business clusters are designed to, advantageously, feed on existing airport traffic and in turn stimulate an increase in passenger and cargo traffic. FAAN has already registered high private sector interest to invest in clusters around the airport, including hotels like Hilton, Marriot, Radisson as well as residences, low, middle and high income types.
There will also be perishable cargo facilities and commercial agriculture, indicating significant existing investor interest is high,” she said.
The development of the new city, she said would create new direct and indirect jobs. “With 92 active construction sites in 2012, and 200 anticipated construction sites in 2013, the infrastructural development will be enormous. A framework and structure to regularly collect, analyse and disseminate data and statistics, demonstrating aviation sector and aerotropolis impact on job creation- direct and indirect employment- with efficient information and project management systems that maintain up-to-date facts and figures about project milestones, investor-relevant information and new projects/investors.
According to the concept, the aerotropolis enabling infrastructure would also facilitate investment in new industries, creating more jobs, encouraging knowledge transfer, stimulating local content development and underpinning the nation’s economic growth prospects. “The federal government, through the Ministry of Aviation, targets a high return on investment, and is currently undertaking policy and regulatory reforms to ensure a conducive legal and regulatory framework.”
The Main Features
The Aerotropolis is Nigeria’s strategic approach to enhancing municipal and provincial prosperity through improved multi-modal access and aviation-linked commercial development, making the airport, the city, and the province better connected, more economically efficient, attractive, and sustainable.
Aerotropolis Nigeria is an extended Airport City developed at and immediately around the airport which serve as the multimodal, multi-functional commercial nexus anchoring aviation-enabled trade in goods and services, and driving it throughout the aerotropolis and greater province.
The aerotropolis is a huge city development with a new passenger terminal, new cargo terminal; multi level car park; commercial core; theme park; hotel resort; golf course; new runways; medical and wellness center; train station; hotel cluster; ICT hub; commercial core 2; exhibition center/conference; existing terminal; hotel and office cluster; existing residential estate; airline and airport offices; agro/ perishable cargo market cargo village (dry cargo) hangers; maintenance cluster; courier cluster and ware house cluster.
Other facilities are fuel tank and power house; light industry cluster; free trade zone; market/china town; trucks park; aviation square; medium density residential area; low density residential area; high density residential area; export processing zone & industry; railway line; dual carriage road; single carriage road; stream; and vegetation.
FAAN Begins Lagos’ Aerotropolis
In a few weeks, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) will enter another phase of the Aviation Road Map when it starts work on the Aerotropolis project (airport city) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
The General Manager, Corporate communications of FAAN, Yakubu Dati said to achieve the objective, the Authority would soon begin the relocation of the commercial and stakeholder’s car park from the present location to a large expanse of land beside the Church on the way to the international terminal.
This relocation will pave way for the commencement of work on a five star international hotel and a multi-story car park to be constructed at the present site. Passengers would be driven to and from the airport by shuttle buses, as no private or commercial vehicle would be allowed into the construction site.
The new hotel would have a full complement of commercial facilities such as shopping malls, cafes and conference centers that would suit the taste of visiting entrepreneurs who may not want to go into the city to transact their businesses before going back to their different destinations, said Dati.
The new car park to be built will have six levels and the topmost floor will have a big commercial centre for visitors to the airport, who may not want to travel.
The relocation exercise, according to Dati, has been worked out to ensure a seamless flow and would begin with the grading and partitioning of the land to be used into two different portions; one for care hire service and the other for limousine services.
To ease passenger movement to and from the terminal during constructing work, shuttle buses will be provided by FAAN to ease passenger discomfort.
Meanwhile, extension work on the “D” and “E” fingers of the MMIA will soon be completed within the next one month. With this extension, the departure hall of each finger has been extended by 2,937.68 square metres, while the arrival halls of the new E finger have been extended by 2,937.68 square metres. The D arrival halls area has also gained 2,245.82 square metres.
The expanded “E” arrival halls has been fitted with two high powered, 30m long and variable speed conveyor belts, while the third one is yet to be installed. The “D” finger will also boast of three high powered conveyor belts. Each of the conveyor belts can handle arrival luggage of two Boeing 747, at the same time.
This extension will make room for faster passenger processing and for better service delivery.