Plans are underway for Lanseria International Airport to host the Africa Aerospace and Defence Trade Show (AADTS) in March.
Details, apart from the date of 24 to 26 March at the airport, north-west of Johannesburg and west of Pretoria, are still under wraps. One of those in charge of organisation, Nakedi Phasha, confirmed the event to defenceWeb adding a statement with “full details” would be issued in due course.
Secretary for Defence Sonto Kudjoe at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) virtual conference on 15 October said, “it also gives me great pleasure to announce the aerospace and defence trade show 2021, which will be hosted by AAD from 24 to 26 March 2021 at Lanseria International Airport. The event will be focussed on business meetings and capability demonstrations, giving the South African and international defence and general aviation industries an opportunity to showcase their products and services.”
This year’s Africa Aerospace and Defence trade show was, to use the exhibition organiser’s word, “deferred” for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic which saw a national state of disaster declared in South Africa. Apart from lockdown regulations strangling most sectors of economic activity, severe restrictions on international travel would have slashed the number of foreign visitors at AFB Waterkloof, a drawcard extensively used by AAD organisers to attract exhibitors, both local and foreign.
In lieu of AAD 2020, the organisers hosted the AAD virtual conference earlier this month and are gearing up for the Lanseria trade show in March next year.
It is not yet clear if next year’s event will be a purely defence trade show, given the dates are Wednesday to Friday, or if there will be an air show over the weekend.
The “deferred” AAD exhibition is, according to the AAD website, set to take place at Air Force Base Waterkloof south of Pretoria from 21 to 25 September 2022.