in Features / Events

It all AADs up to a spectacular

Posted 14 August 2018 · Add Comment

According to Leon Dillman, CEO of the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA), this year’s anticipated Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD2018) show is expected to be “bigger and better than ever”.

AAD is the premier exhibition for air, sea and land technologies on the African continent and the only expo there that combines both a trade exhibition and an air show.
It is one of South Africa’s largest contributors to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
This year’s event will take place at Air Force Base Waterkloof in Tshwane, South Africa’s administrative capital, from September 19 to 23. It is expected to receive 35,000 trade visitors and 90,000 visitors for the two public days.
The opening ceremony will also feature a military tattoo for the first time.
The event is managed by a partnership, which includes the Department of Defence, Armscor, the South African Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industry Association (AMD) and CAASA. Each entity hosts the biennial event on a rotational basis.
CAASA is responsible for staging AAD2018 and its CEO, Leon Dillman, said bookings have exceeded expectations.
“Currently, 94% of outdoor space and 91% of all available indoor exhibitions space has been booked,” he said. “Our exhibitors have given us a lot of support by signing up 80% of the available hospitality chalets.”
Dillman added that the event will see a record 14 national pavilions, including Russia, China, the USA, UK, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Lithuania, Czech Republic and Poland. France’s participation at AAD2018 is with a new national pavilion.
“Five nations are expanding their pavilions, with Canada, Brazil, Namibia and Zimbabwe considering building a national pavilion each,” added Dillman.
AAD2018 will see the return of some of the major manufacturers. Already confirmed are: Boeing, Dassault Diamond Aircraft and Embraer, along with Mahindra Aerospace, Safran, Russian Helicopters, Honeywell, Rockwell Collins, Lockheed Martin and, local firm, Paramount Group.
A new feature on the AAD2018 programme will be seminars, covering topical subjects such as cyber security and the future of drones.
“We’ve had a great deal of interest from remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) companies and unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturers. For that reason, AAD2018 will feature a dedicated drone pavilion – only the second time that this has been done,” said Dillman.
“Seminars at major exhibitions have gained popularity worldwide, both as a means to convey key capabilities in a specific field to the top-level decision-makers attending the exhibition, and to enable the industry to engage on a wider level.
“Due to this, we are offering a number of small theatres with seating capacity of 50 for presentations, product launches and media briefings, which are ideal at a venue like Waterkloof.”
The seminars will be hosted on the business days but Dillan said the organisers were still working on the agendas.
He said: “Though our topics have been confirmed, we are in the process of finalising keynote speakers in the various fields. However, we can confirm that we have partnered with the University of Stellenbosch on the seminars.”
Once again there will be what is promised as “spectacular aerial and ground displays, some of which have never been seen before on the African continent”.
As African Aerospace went to press, Dillman said they were still waiting to finalise aircraft participation.
“Several countries will be taking part in the display but we are still awaiting confirmation of aircraft types. We hope to make an announcement shortly. We do know it will be very exciting.”
 

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