The City of Leduc and Leduc County have partnered to develop Alberta Aerotropolis (or AB Aero) to foster investment, development and job opportunities, while enhancing tourism and diversifying Alberta’s economy.
The Aerotropolis Viability Study:
With significant growth projections for this region and the ideal location presented by the seamless air-to-ground-to-rail connectivity at and around the Edmonton International Airport (EIA), the City of Leduc, and Leduc County, these three organizations concurrently embarked on an aerotropolis viability study (AVS) in May 2014.
AVS examined how to create a fully functioning and globally competitive aerotropolis near the EIA to for the region. The study identified four priority areas to consider for their greenfield aerotropolis development potential. Furthermore, the AVS identified opportunities to facilitate and leverage considerable economic growth and diversification if planned, marketed, and implemented as a cohesive singular economic unit.
Alberta Aerotropolis was initiated as a result of the AVS study.
What is an aerotropolis?
Aerotropolis is a land use strategy that focuses on economic development around an airport. It also leverages the strength of existing businesses on airport lands and surrounding areas to encourage further economic diversification and job growth.
The lands surrounding EIA are primarily zoned for employment and industrial uses, along with traditional agriculture. Alberta Aerotropolis is integral to Alberta’s economic future, as it seeks to build upon the existing organic aerotropolis development centred around EIA and to establish new economic clusters that would improve the seamless connections between air, ground and rail.
This joint project will augment and diversify the capital region’s and Alberta’s growing economy; creating new industries and supporting existing businesses that rely upon this transportation connectivity. Due to ongoing commercial development on airport lands, EIA is only one of two airport regions in Canada identified as an emerging aerotropolis.
Key features of Alberta’s Aerotropolis include:
Proximity and connectivity: Centred around EIA, Alberta Aerotropolis is the economic gateway to Edmonton and the capital region, northern Alberta and Canada’s north by connecting with the Canada-Mexico (CANAMEX) Trade Corridor, Canada and the World.
Established businesses and industries: It is home to the Leduc-Nisku business parks, Canada’s largest manufacturing and energy services parks, offering a primary supply chain centre to Canada’s oil, gas and energy services sectors. The Leduc-Nisku industrial business parks are the second largest of its kind in North America at over 8,200 acres.
Skilled workforce: Alberta Aerotropolis is currently home to about 1,000 businesses that employ more than 25,000 people in the Leduc-nisku business parks and at the Edmonton International Airport.
Economic diversification: Emerging economic clusters have been indentified that not only complement existing clusters, but that also have the potential to grow within Alberta Aerotropolis.
Why use aerotropolis for economic development?
Continued development of Alberta Aerotropolis will generate additional economic clusters centered around EIA. Alberta Aerotropolis improves the seamless connections between air, ground, and rail, and creates economic diversification through businesses that rely on transportation connectivity.
As an important part of Alberta Aerotropolis, Port Alberta was designated as a free trade zone (FTZ) in June 2015 by the Government of Canada. FTZ is a strategic location identified for international trade and foreign direct investment.
What’s next for Alberta Aerotropolis?
As work continues to develop Alberta Aerotropolis, updates will be posted here.