An Aerotropolis and Business Location Decisions

With all the talk of Aerotropoli becoming important satellite cities – or even hub cities — I’ve been pondering the ways they will impact business location decisions.

My initial thought was that businesses needing the quick access to air cargo facilities would be the main drivers of demand for space in an Aerotropoli. Medical instrument preparation companies, electronics assemblers, fresh food distributers, etc.

But, then I thought about how corporations make location decisions for secondary facilities (customer service centres, R&D labs, back end support, even software development teams). Senior management from head office often wants to be within 30 minutes of the airport — and of an airport with good connections to their head office city — so they can visit efficiently. Therefore, many “knowledge economy” companies and service firms could be good candidates to lease office space in an aerotropolis. Senior management could fly in, have an important two hour face-to-face meeting with local executives, and fly home all within an 8 or 10 hour day.

Now that I think about it, being at an Aerotropolis could be great for a start-up company trying to attract clients and partners. Either representatives of the prospective clients and partners could fly in, or start-up executives could fly out easily and quickly. If the potential partner firms were also in Aerotropoli then their executives travel days and time away from the office could also be reduced.

The Aerotropolis has definite potential as the world’s commerce becomes more dependent on trade, not only in goods but in ideas and brainstorming delivered face-to-face.

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