Zambia Air Force to host first ever Aviation Week Africa event

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Come April, dozens of local and international exhibitors are expected to take part in Zambia’s first Aviation Week Africa event.

This was launched on 15 December by Aviation Week Africa organisers and the Zambia Air Force (ZAF).

Then-ZAF Commander, Lieutenant General Colin Barry, said “Let us forge alliances, nurture relationships, and pave the way for a future where our collective efforts propel us to new heights of excellence. This an opportunity for us to come together, to share insights, and to chart a course towards a future where African skies are characterised by seamless collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity.”

He acknowledged that Africa is yet to fully harness the potential of the skies and the immense value of collaboration between civil and military aviation, with multifaceted challenges including safety and airspace management to bolstering regional connectivity and responding swiftly to emergencies.

Chief Executive Officer of Aviation Week Africa, Helen Ngwira Mwamba, said she expected the event to attract well over 54 local and international exhibitors from the military and civil aviation sectors.

Speaking on behalf of Acting Director Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Nathan Kaluba, the Director of Finance, Desmond Jere, said the Authority recognises that in the pursuit of safer and more efficient aviation, collaboration between military and civil aviators is indispensable.

Aviation Week Africa will take place from 22 to 26 April. It will include a panel discussion, corporate social responsibility flights for under privileged children, career guidance workshops for the youth and aerobatic displays.

When Aviation Week Africa is held, the ZAF’s new commander will be attending and supporting the event, as Barry was removed from his position in late December by President Hakainde Hichilema.

The President appointed Major General Oscar M Nyoni as Zambia Air Force Commander and elevated him to the rank of Lieutenant General while Brigadier General Arthur Kalaluka was appointed as Deputy Zambia Air Commander and Chief of Air Staff and promoted to the rank of Major General.

According to a ZAF statement, Nyoni is a seasoned pilot on a wide range of transport aircraft including the MA-60, Beech 1900 D and the Y-12. He has held several appointments in his 35 years of military service, notable ones being Vice Chief of Operations, Air Officer Commanding Air Transport Support Command (ATSC) now Tactical Air Mobility Command, Chief of Operations, Director International Sports Council and United Nations Liaison and his immediate past appointment Deputy Zambia Air Force Commander and Chief of Air Staff.

Handing over the reins on 3 January, Barry said, “I am humbled to have had the privilege of leading this extraordinary Force. The successes we achieved together were a testament to the dedication and professionalism of every member of the Zambia Air Force. As I pass the baton to Lt Gen Oscar Msitu Nyoni, I am confident that the Air Force will soar to even greater heights under his leadership.”

Barry served as Commander of the ZAF from 2021.