A city in which the layout, infrastructure, and economy are centered around a major airport.
His renderings of what is to be called the Pinnacle Aeropark show its 1,300 acres developed with 2.9 million square feet of office space, 25 million square feet of laboratory and research buildings and 4.7 million square feet of high-technology warehouse space. It will be complemented by luxury hotels served by European-style circular intersections, a golf course, cycling trails, restaurants and shopping centers...
Speedy delivery of goods is also at the center of Mr. Kasarda's theory of what he calls the aerotropolis, a population and business center formed around an airport in the way that cities once formed around ports or crossroads.
Michael Brink, "Officials Are Trying to Raise a City in the Shadow of Detroit's Airport," The New York Times, November 27, 2002
He said he was aware that the airport had its critics but he was optimistic about its future.
He based this on three aspects: the upward world trend of airport traffic figures; the need for greater airport ground capacity in the Pearl River delta region; and China's desire to "merge into the international family".
Mr Bao said he did not regard an airport as a place just for aircraft taking off and landing. Zhuhai would be an "aerotropolis"
"China's airport authority chooses Westerner as boss of Zhuhai `aerotropolis'," South China Morning Post, August 31, 1994
Today's word combines the prefix aero- and the word metropolis, a large city. It's also called an aviation city or an airport city. In its purest form, the aerotropolis is an economic hub that extends out from a large airport into a surrounding area that consists mostly of distribution centers, office buildings, light manufacturing firms, convention centers, and hotels, all linked to the airport via roads, expressways (aerolinks), and rail lines (aerotrains). This business-centered version of the aerotropolis is also called an air-commerce cluster or an airport cluster.
Strangely, although the plural of metropolis is metropolises, the plural of aerotropolis isn't aerotropolises; instead, it's aerotropoli. Why the disconnect? Possibly because lots of people now use metropoli as the plural of metropolis, a usage the dictionaries haven't yet picked up on (although it has been around since at least 1978).