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General Aviation has enormous potential to transform African economies since aviation has played a key role in the development of the world economy by facilitating global business relations. Aviation has also acted as a catalyst for the growth of leisure markets and acted as a driver for regional development.

It is estimated that over 52 percent of tourist travels world-wide is by air whilst about a third of the world’s manufactured exports are currently being transported by air.

Overall, the aviation industry generates employment and income, with a multiplier effect on other non-aviation economic activity. Aviation has a huge impact on a nation’s economy, by stimulating it through direct and induced ways.

Apart from the quantifiable economic benefits, aviation also generates tangible spin-off benefits. These include reducing the cost of trade and movement of goods, attracting new business to locations with good air service links and support for the development of new technology and distribution processes based on the rapid movement of people and goods. In addition to these benefits, aviation provides fringe benefits like strengthening of national loyalty and links between villages and regions in the country.

A community with no aviation gateway for economic development is obviously at a competitive disadvantage. In many studies of the impact of General Aviation airports on a community, the conclusion has been the same - a small town without an airport is in the same position as a community that was bypassed by a canal or rail 100 years ago.

Close proximity to aviation service activity is always near the top of the list of prime factors a business considers when considering a major move to a particular area. Against this background, there is no doubt that General Aviation has an important role to play in the overall socio-economic development of Africa at large.


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