This was an interesting read over my Saturday morning espresso and vegemite on toast. My nearest international airport, Gold Coast International is Australia’s fastest growing airport, due in no small part to their connectivity and proactive route development initiatives in China and other Asian countries. This article opines that Asia and the Middle East have competitive advantages over the West in riding the 21st century wave of transport-oriented development around airports as central economic hubs for developing cities ( it was seaports in the 18th century, railroads in the 19th, highways in the 20th). It suggests that ‘aerotropolises’ will emerge in the Middle East and Asia as economic hubs with whole urban developments clustered around new airports.
Interesting too is the view that western nations are ‘losing’ in this race. This implies that silence, sanctuary, natural landscapes are unimportant, which I would say is not true. Research demonstrates that natural landscapes, fresh produce, clean air and a lack of pollution are the most significant reasons for the sustained double digit growth of Chinese visitors to Australia. So as Asia develops its aeotropolises, Australia should seek to connect them with our appropriate scale, 21st century airports that are gateways to natural sanctuaries that may become virtually extinct in the East.