The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has welcomed the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality announcement of plans to relocate the Port Elizabeth Airport to the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The CDC's plan for the development of an airport at the SEZ was presented to and approved by the City council in late 2018 with the CDC having since attended to technical aspects of the proposed airport development and completed a pre-feasibility study.
"Development of an airport at the Coega SEZ has formed part of the Coega Development Corporation’s master development plan since inception and plans are at an advanced stage," said Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, head of marketing, brand and communications.
"The CDC is working closely with the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) to submit an application for a full-scale feasibility study into the development of an airport at the SEZ. The submission is due at the end of the current financial year (March 2020)," said Sadick Davids, CDC’s project manager for metals.
The proposed airport has generated much interest from potential investors.
"The CDC plans to undertake an open process to solicit a Request for Proposals (RFP) from interested parties," added Davids.
Although an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the whole Coega SEZ was long conducted and approved, with a Record of Decision (RoD) issued for industrialisation as the site was previously (earmarked) for agricultural use, an EIA and RoD for the airport development site are pending.
"An EIA will be conducted upon conclusion of the feasibility study, as well as the RFP process," said Davids.
This development will deliver on the objectives of the SEZ programme by way of expanding the Coega SEZ’s strategic industrialisation focus to cover diverse regional development needs.
"In line with Coega’s vision of being a leading catalyst for championing of socio-economic development, the new airport development and value chain will create more than 30,000 direct and indirect jobs and a GDP contribution of R24bn per annum," highlighted Davids.