We are in that last month before AAD, the South African aerospace and defence trade show.
It is a distressingly quiet time as local companies hog news for press releases during the show. The Europeans, North Americans and Asians are still on summer holiday, so relevant pickings are slim there too.
That said, defenceWeb has not done too shabbily in finding and publishing relevant news, although the process has resembled chickens patrolling a bare farmyard.
AAD will see feast replace famine. A glut of press releases will descend on journalists – a development probably more bad than good. We get to pick-and-choose and tend to focus on the “big deals” – there are only so many hours in the day! This means releases from smaller companies, or even just statements that do not look “sexy” get discarded. This can be a mistake. Many contain real “gems” – crucial little facts and leads – that are never reported or only picked up belatedly.
There is much excitement that the show has returned to Centurion/Pretoria. The show has been held at AFB Ysterplaat, Cape Town, in picturesque surroundings since 2006. With the bulk of the SA defence industry based in Gauteng I suppose it makes sense to hold it here. But it was great to get away from the usual routine for a few days. Sigh, I’ll miss Cape Town.
So, on to the extensively renovated and upgraded Waterkloof. From September 19 to 21 organisers say trade and static displays will attract trade visitors from more than 28 countries, followed by an air show on September 22 and 23 that will be open to paying members of the public. It’s expected that the open days will attract a crowd of over 50 000 per day. (Ye gads!!)