Next month’s Africa Aerospace & Defence exhibition – the sixth – will also be the largest to date with all available exhibitor space booked several months ago. It addition a record number of military and civil aircraft – some 80 – are due at the show that opens at Air Force Base Ysterplaat in Milnerton, Cape Town on September 21.
Show organiser Geoff van Hees says over 250 exhibiting companies from some 30 countries are attending AAD2010. “New national pavilions from nations like Turkey, the US and China have taken the expo to new heights,” Van Hees says in comments emailed to defenceWeb. It is likely visitor numbers will exceed that set in 2008 when 13000 trade visitors attended and 55 000 people flocked to the public days.
Van Hees says the aircraft on show will include examples in service with the South African, US, Namibian and Zimbabwean air forces. Alongside in Table Bay harbour will be ships of the South African, Brazilian and Indian navies.
As is the norm, the first three days will be by-invitation-only trade days meant to “stimulate business for South African and international companies in the areas of civil and military aerospace, security, landward defence and maritime technologies.”
Friday the 24th, Heritage Day, will be the first of two public days with an emphasis on aerial and other displays. “These two public days will provide lots of entertainment for the whole family: a world-class air show, dynamic vehicle demonstrations and interesting static displays. The gates open from 6am to allow the general public an early entry into the show,” Van Hees says. Flying displays will start at 7.30am and continue until 5pm, weather permitting. “This full day programme of fighter jets, aerobatic displays, massive transport planes, gleaming business jets, civil and military helicopters, vintage aircraft, as well as parachute jumps should not be missed,” he adds.
To alleviate possible congestion public day visitors are encouraged to purchase pre-paid discounted tickets from Cape Town Tourism offices and the South African Air Force Museum at Ysterplaat. Normal entrance tickets at the gates are priced at a reasonable R50 for adults and R40 for children under 12 and pensioners. There is no charge for toddlers.
Van Hees adds the local community is advised that an increase in noise levels will result from the large number of participating aircraft. This might be disturbing to some residents in the immediate vicinity of the Ysterplaat air base. Therefore the organisers wish to give notice of the proposed flying programme during September 2010:
13 to 23 September: Validation flights (with limited flying during some mornings.)
24 to 25 September: Public Air Show (07:30-17:00)
More information can be obtained on the AAD2010 Call Centre number 021 508 6414 by e-mail: [email protected] or website: www.aadexpo.co.za.