While it’s not short finals yet the runway that is Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2014 is by now visible and preparations for the continent’s premier aerospace and defence exhibition are gaining momentum.
The first trade day at AFB Waterkloof in Centurion is on Wednesday, September 17 and next Thursday (June 26) will see the first exhibitors’ briefing. This will be held in Hangar 5 at AFB Zwartkop, west of the host base and exhibitors will be given a sitrep as well as the opportunity to ask questions.
There has, as yet, been no information made available about visiting air forces or their aircraft that will take part in the airshow, an integral part of AAD and one that draws thousands of spectators to the base on the weekend of the exhibition.
Colonel Helgard Brink, public day chairman for AFB Waterkloof, told defenceWeb he and air boss, Colonel Innocent Buthelezi, have had discussions about the possible participation of UAVs in the AAD airshow.
“We hope to soon have an answer and are also awaiting inputs from other roleplayers as regards static and display aircraft. Once these have been received we will do space allocation,” he said.
Next Thursday’s briefing will also update foreign delegations coming to AFB Waterkloof as well as provide more information on the youth development programme to be run as part of AAD. This is seen as an important awareness tool for young people looking to make a career in the aerospace sector.
Exhibition organisers have reported that more than 95% of the available exhibition space, both inside hangars on the eastern side of the base as well as outside, has been booked along with all 37 hospitality chalets on the flight line.
Ten national pavilions have also been confirmed for AAD 2014 with Argentina and the Czech Republic as first-timers. They join India, Turkey, Germany, the United States, China, the United Kingdom and Russia as countries with national representation at AAD which opens its gates to trade visitors on September 17. The last trade day is September 19 followed by the open days, including the airshow on the weekend of September 20 and 21.