General aviation hub planned for AAD 2024


For want of a better word, the “civilian” component of the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) control and organising body in the form of the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA), is upbeat as regards a new addition to this year’s exhibition, which is now less than six months away.

A CAASA presentation makes mention of a proposed general aviation (GA) hub, along with three other so-called “innovation hubs” which could debut at Air Force Base (AFB) Waterkloof come 18 September. They will be for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), energy and space with, at present, no further detail given.

The GA hub is planned to be sited immediately south of the freight office at the base and north of hangar 3, one of the preferred indoor exhibition areas. A schematic shows a distinct separate exhibition area with 12 stands in two variations – an exhibition marquee and a walk on one – as well as parking for 14 aircraft of varying size.

AAD has since 2000 been hosted on a rotating basis by (in no particular order) the SA Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association (AMD), Armscor, the Department of Defence (DoD), normally in the form of the SA Air Force (SAAF), and CAASA.

AAD 2024 is the twelfth of its kind and will run from 18 to 22 September at the Centurion air force base, housing 21, 28, 41and 44 squadrons as well as, among others, the Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre (JARIC) and 1 Air Servicing Unit (ASU).

CAASA has it AAD is a platform for seven objectives. They are: reinforcing and strengthening relationships; promoting and driving exports; creating an educational platform; promoting South Africa as a destination of choice for business and tourism; job creation; facilitating international partnerships; and promoting and reinforcing “South Africa’s position as a key driver of innovation and marketing”.