The 2018 edition of the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition this September will have a record 14 national pavilions, the organisers have revealed, while over 90% of indoor and outdoor space has been booked up.
The organisers this week said that space bookings have exceeded expectations, with 94% of outdoor space and 91% of indoor space been booked out. “This year our exhibitors have given us a lot of support by signing up 80% of the hospitality chalets,” said Leon Dillman, CEO of the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA), which is responsible for staging this year’s edition of AAD. (AAD is managed by the Department of Defence, Armscor, AMD and CAASA, which take turns to host the event.)
The 14 national pavilions include Russia, China, the USA, UK, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, France, Canada, Brazil, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Several major aerospace and defence companies will return to AAD this year, including Boeing, Dassault and Embraer. Other big names to have confirmed attendance include Mahinda Aerospace, Paramount Group, Safomar and others.
The organisers are looking to attract the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market. “We’ve had a great deal of interest from RPAS (drone) companies and unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturers,” Dillman said. “For that reason AAD 2018 will feature a dedicated drone pavilion – only the second time that this has been done. Moreover, the opening ceremony will feature a military tattoo for the first time ever.”
Seminars and briefings will be catered for, and there will be seminars hosted on the business days, and the organisers say they are working on the agendas, which will include cyber security.
“Our presentation theatres have proved to be popular in the past. With a seating capacity of fifty, the theatres are ideal for product or country presentations and smaller media briefings,” Dillman said.
While it is too soon to confirm the attendance of aircraft and air forces, Dillman said so far 30 aircraft have been confirmed, but many more – around 200 – are expected. The organisers are working on a solid air force lineup and something new for the air show days.
AAD will take place at Air Force Base Waterkloof between 19 and 23 September, with the two air show days to be held on the 22nd and 23rd.