- Challenges facing the Inter-relation of 21st century International Airports and Urban Dynamics in Metropolitan Agglomerations (case study: Cairo International Airport)    click here to open paper content507 kb
by    EL HOSSEINY, Omar | bectomar@internetegypt.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
This paper attempts to analyze chronologically the evolution of relationships between airports and urban dynamics. Subsequently, it shall define the different levels and characteristics of the actual role of Great International Airports as regional development poles. Then, a brief case study will be conducted to examine the existing/future relationship between Cairo International Airport and Greater Cairo Region.
Throughout the latest decades, Great International Airports (GIA) have demonstrated a huge progress concerning their relationships with cities and urban agglomerations. The accelerated need for better communications between peoples, cities and countries, accompanied by an unforeseen rapid expansion of air transportation industry (for both passengers & goods), have lead to a new momentum in favor of the interrelation between Airports & Metropolitan areas.

Today, in the context of world economic globalization, on the one hand, and the progressive trend toward metropolisation of cities, on the other hand; the GIA have turned to be in the heart of grand international exchanges networks. Following the role they play as gateways for the world markets, and the assets they represent to attract capitals, investments, activities and multinational H.Q. localizations… the GIA have become structuring elements of regional economies, creators of employment and wealth fare.

However, the performance of GIA to satisfy a constant growing demand of air traffic, depends greatly on their spatial arrangement and insertion within the contextual metropolitan territories, as well as, on the awareness of their economic impacts at local and regional levels and, finally, on the efforts deployed in order to preserve the quality of life of local inhabitants.

Hence, it is important for GIA regions to look for a certain equilibrium between those tendencies linked to the evolution of air transportation “airside”, and other tendencies which are tied up with socio-economic and spatial considerations “landside”. In fact, regional/ local socio-economic and spatial contexts define, partially, the potentials lying on airports and vice-versa.

While some nuances could be felt concerning the aspects and levels of impacts on urban dynamics from one GIA to another; planning in a more globalized and competitive world should be aware of the significance of the recent form of interrelation between GIA and metropolitan areas which seeks to create in and around the platform a regional development pole; some experts and specialists describe it as a genuine “Airport City”.

This paper attempts to analyze chronologically the evolution of relationships between airports and urban dynamics in their regions. Subsequently, we shall define the different levels and characteristics of the role of GIA as regional strategic poles, as well as, the conditions for the establishment of the so called “airport city”. This part of the research will be conducted through a thematic analysis based on an analogous approach with reference to GIA experiences around the world.

Afterwards, the paper will demonstrate a “brief” case study of Cairo International Airport (CIA) and its relations with the Greater Cairo Region (GCR). It will examine the potentials and the limitations for the creation of “ Cairo Airport City”. The goal is to set up a vision for the future which aims at establishing a better comprehension for the prospective interactions and, in the same time, eliminating the negative impacts which could lead to a vulnerable future relationship between CIA & GCR.

airports, metropolis, inter-relation
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