The Aerospace and Defence Trade Show (ADTS) planned for March is yet another COVID-19 victim with organisers saying it is “indefinitely cancelled”.
The show, announced last October as the Africa Aerospace and Defence Trade Show (ADTS) by the committee responsible for the biannual Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition, was seen filling the gap between the “deferred” AAD 2020 and its scheduled successor AAD 2022.
It was set down for 22 to 26 March at Lanseria International Airport. “For trade visitors only, the event will be industry focused and emphasise industry capabilities and technologies emanating from challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” a November statement said.
Today’s (Wednesday, 20 January) statement announcing the cancellation makes the point the decision not to go ahead with the trade show was “not an easy one”.
“The announcement comes when South Africa is in a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and extension of the national state of sisaster by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The enormous uncertainties the pandemic has dealt the global events industry, the successful execution of the ADTS was significantly compromised,” organisers said.
Sandile Ndlovu, current ADTS executive committee chair and AMD (SA Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association) director, said of the cancellation that “the health and safety of all concerned, together with adhering to the prescripts of the law, is of absolute importance to us”.
The statement adds the knock-on effect on the planned ADTS by cancellation of “certain international flights” to South Africa was also part of the decision not to stage the show.
“Trade events traditionally rely on patronage from international delegations and this is a return on investment we would offer exhibitors. Failing to present exhibitors with high-level delegations and buyers would not auger well for us as organisers. This was taken into account in the decision-making process.
“We looked at all possible scenarios and thank all exhibitors and sponsors for their patience and unwavering support in the months leading to this difficult and yet essential decision,” the statement quotes Ndlovu as saying.
“Our focus now is directed at AAD2022, scheduled for 21 to 25 September 2022. We will continue to work hard at creating platforms for the South African defence and aerospace industries that will bring value to their business initiatives and grow international footprints and look forward to welcoming our valued stakeholders to AAD 2022.”
The global COVID-19 pandemic, including recent newly discovered strains, continues to impact the events industry, which has seen many international event organisers either deferring events from traditional dates or choosing to cancel shows based on the effect of the pandemic in their respective countries the statement adds.