Aerotropolis Institute Africa Delivered Route Development Masterclass at UKZN
The Aerotropolis Institute Africa (AIA) held its first post-COVID-19 short course the route development masterclass in Durban at UKZN’s Westville campus with a focus on regional airports.
The AIA - an emerging professional institute created through a joint venture between UKZN and the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) - contributes to the body of knowledge on aerotropolis and the mainstream aviation industry through a series of annual short courses.
AIA Project Coordinator Ms Ntandoyenkosi Khoza and Professor Henry Wissink (AIA Project Manager) ran the course which addressed four key themes over two days: the legislative and policy environment; route development and airline negotiations for regional airports; airport economics and management, and secondary and regional airports in South Africa.
Said Wissink: ‘The aim of the masterclass is to provide practitioners involved in airports, airport cities, and aerotropolis planning and implementation with insights and knowledge from leading experts in the field of the airport and Aerotropolis-related route development processes and benefits of route development.’
The course, delivered by presenters from different aviation and related industries and government, also focused on the integration of international, national and regional route development challenges and dynamics following the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the need to promote regional tourism.
Manager of the Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Airport in Ulundi Ms Michelle Green-Thompson, said the AIA masterclass was an excellent opportunity to network with colleagues in the industry and to see how the aviation industry had shifted since the pandemic.
‘The information shared by presenters was invaluable,’ said Green-Thompson. ‘The idea that airports have to change their focus from being only operational to also being instrumental in the marketing and building of their sales funnel, affirms that as Ulundi Airport we are thinking and working in the right direction. Regional airports have to evolve with the needs of the traveling public we serve. I look forward to more courses and engagement from the AIA,’ she added.
Words: Samukelisiwe Cele