Almost all available indoor and outdoor exhibition space at Air Force Base Waterkloof has been booked out by exhibitors ahead of the exhibition in September.
Giving an update on preparations for the show, Leon Dillman, CEO of the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA) said that besides national pavilions, local and foreign exhibitors have booked up virtually all available space. According to Dillman, most outdoor space has been sold out and more than 90% of indoor exhibition space has also been taken. Of the available hospitality chalets, more than 80% have been booked.
National pavilions confirmed are Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France (a new pavilion), Germany, Italy, Namibia, Russia, Turkey, Poland, USA and UK. With Lithuania taking a national pavilion, this brings the total number of pavilions to 14 so far.
While it is too soon to confirm the attendance of aircraft and air forces, so far 30 aircraft have been confirmed, but many more – around 200 – are expected. “We are currently still engaging several countries to finalise their participation of aircraft,” said Dillman. “As we await confirmation of aircraft types, we hope to make an announcement shortly; watch this space.”
A new feature on the AAD 2018 programme will be seminars, covering topical subjects such as “Cyber Security” and “The Future of Drones”. These seminars are scheduled to run over the three trade days, i.e. 19 to 21 September.
“For this reason, we offer a number of small theatres with seating capacity of 50 for presentations, product launches and media briefings, which are ideal at a venue like Waterkloof,” said Dillman.
Given the importance of drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in both the military and commercial spheres, and at the behest of UAV manufacturers, AAD 2018 will once again feature a dedicated UAV pavilion.
Managed on a rotation basis by a partnership comprising the Department of Defence (DoD), Armscor, the South African Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industry Association (AMD) and CAASA, AAD2018 will take place between 19 and 23 September.
An Exhibitor Briefing is scheduled for July. Trade registration (for trade visitors only) will open on 15 May. The trade invitation is valid only for the Trade days 19 to 21 September 2018. The air show days on 22 and 23 September will be open to the general public and are expected to attract tens of thousands of people.