The Bench Launches AviaDev Real Estate

Aviadev Real Estate Launch

The bench, which is well known for organizing AviaDev, the premier platform dedicated to growing connectivity to, from, and within the African continent alongside a portfolio of world-class hotel investment conferences, announced today the creation of AviaDev Real Estate, a new forum connecting African airports with real estate investors, developers, and professional advisors. The forum will be supported by NACO, (Netherlands Airport Consultants), a world-leading airport consultancy and engineering firm with a rich history of supporting African airport development.

Most African airports are heavily dependent on aeronautical and passenger-related revenues. However, many could enhance their resilience and long-term prosperity with new revenue streams. For example, it is estimated that only 4% of African airport revenue is derived from real estate, whereas, in other parts of the world, the proportion is typically much greater. Classic airport real estate operations include leasing or selling their surrounding land for use as hotels, offices, car parks, and warehouses, in addition to renting space inside terminal buildings for retail, restaurants, etc.


Jon Howell

Founder and CEO AviaDev

AviaDev Real Estate will connect the owners and operators of African airports to those with the finance, skills, and contacts to develop the land and maximize its revenue potential. In turn, the airport industry, benefiting from more diverse real estate revenue streams, will become more resilient to (potential) travel disruption, increase the appeal to new carriers, and ultimately improve air connectivity across the continent.

The forum will comprise pre-arranged, one-on-one meetings, in which participants can discuss specific business opportunities, and an interactive conference program in which delegates can learn from one another, share ideas, and network. Agenda topics will include:

– How to identify opportunities, zone airport property, and plan an airport city.

– How to prepare a project to be investment ready.

– How to finance airport real estate projects – what are the business models and what are investors looking for?

– Case studies from airports that have successfully benefitted from real estate revenue.

– Project presentations from airports looking for finance for their real estate projects.

The new event will take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel Nairobi Upper Hill, on Wednesday 14 June, coinciding with the last day of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) and the start of AviaDev.


Ramsay Rankoussi

VP Development –

Africa and Turkey

Radisson Hotel Group

Jon Howell, CEO & Founder, AviaDev, said: “The synergies that flow from creating an airport real estate forum at the intersection of AHIF and AviaDev are incredibly compelling. Our mandate at AviaDev Africa is to improve air connectivity to, from, and within the African continent and I am confident that this forum will lead to developing a more resilient and thriving African aviation ecosystem that will benefit the entire value chain.”

Marcel Langeslag, Director of Aviation Africa at NACO, concluded: “Focusing on non-passenger revenues such as commercial real estate, can make a substantial difference to the profitability and investment appeal of an airport; so, I expect this unique event, coinciding with recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, will take off successfully in 2023 and fly in the years ahead”


joint header ahif and aviadev
About AviaDev

AviaDev Africa is the only dedicated air service development event for Africa. The event is focused on developing air connectivity to, from, and within the continent via pre-arranged meetings, interactive workshops, an exhibition, and networking events. The event brings together the key players in the African aviation community to forge new collaborations and partnerships to ensure that Africa remains connected regionally and internationally.



About the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF)

The Africa Hospitality Investment Forum (AHIF) is renowned to be the annual meeting place for the region’s most senior hospitality investors, developers, operators, and advisors. It is the leading hospitality investment conference that connects business leaders from the international and local markets, driving investment into tourism projects, infrastructure, and hotel development across Africa.


About The Bench

Over the past 25 years, Bench has established a legacy for delivering business forums and conferences in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. It has built a reputation for delivering immersive virtual events, energizing masterclasses, and innovative B2B digital strategies for its clients.


About NACO

NACO (Netherlands Airport Consultants), part of Royal HaskoningDHV, is a world-leading airport consultancy and engineering firm with over 70 years of experience working in the aviation industry – from major landmark designs to smaller regional airports.

As aviation enters a new era, we are at the forefront – pioneering solutions that meet the challenges our industry will face in the next decade and beyond. We guide our clients through the ever-changing, fast-paced industry and achieve the ultimate goal: safe, efficient, and sustainable aviation with a premium quality experience for all stakeholders.

Media Sponsor, AHIF 

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