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Coega looking at airport, aeronautics in PE

Mar 09 2015 20:00

Port Elizabeth - The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) announced on Monday that it will issue a notice for an environmental impact assessment (EIA) study to assess the feasibility of establishing a cargo airport and an aeronautical and aerospace industrial cluster in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ).

“We are happy that the project is beginning to take shape. Feasibility work has been done by industry experts which has yielded great potential for the project. The establishment of an advanced manufacturing cluster for aeronautical and aerospace industries has always been on our vision map,” said Mogamad Sadick Davids, CDC metallurgy business development manager.

Possible aeronautical and aerospace industrial manufacturing activity that can take place in the Coega IDZ include manufacturing of helicopters, aerospace engines, auxiliary equipment and parts, and propulsion units while the industry can also possibly contribute to aerospace product prototypes, aircraft conversion and aircraft overhaul and rebuilding.

The planned cluster will be located in Zone 14 of the Coega IDZ, which currently stretches across 2 086 hectares of land.

READ: Coega gets R2bn aqua farming project

“Through the environmental impact assessment, we are a few steps closer to developing a possible new industry for Nelson Mandela Bay, ensuring further broadening of the economic base and growth through diversified industrial sectors and development for the region,” said Davids.

Industrial clustering for mobility industries is an accepted form of economic organisation across the world, according to Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC head of marketing and communications.

“The existing expertise, skilled labour and logistics services from the Eastern Cape’s automotive and manufacturing industries are important strategic advantages that can support the development of aeronautical and aerospace manufacturing in the region," said Vilakazi.

READ: Construction boom at Coega

The Eastern Cape is home to automotive vehicle manufacturers like FAW, Mercedes Benz, VWSA, GMSA and Ford, and recently established a renewable energy components manufacturing industry in the Coega IDZ.   

“The CDC is perfectly endowed with skills, resources and world class infrastructure at the neighbouring deep seawater Port of Ngqura, to be part of the global commercial aircraft manufacturing industry," said Vilakazi.

“Included in our plans is the construction of the cargo/industrial airport that can serve aeronautical and aerospace industrial manufacturing. Subsequently this will also offer tenants and investors in the Coega IDZ with an immediate facility for air transport, which have been well received by the industry.”

ALSO READ: Nelson Mandela Bay to be green energy hub

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