Aviation enthusiasts will be well catered for at this week’s Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition at AFB Waterkloof with no less than 129 aircraft putting in an appearance at AFB Waterkloof in Centurion.
Leon Dillman, chief executive of the Civil Aviation Association of SA (CAASA), hosts of this year’s AAD, confirmed to defenceWeb there would be nine aircraft from foreign air forces coming to the base. He said the countries and aircraft types would be made public during the exhibition.
“I can confirm a total of 129 aircraft, 76 of them civilian and 43 military, including the SA Air Force will be at AAD,” he said on Monday during the final pre-AAD media briefing.
Asked whether the public holiday on Monday (Heritage Day) would influence visitor numbers, Dillman was confident it would not.
“At past AADs we have had to put up the ‘house full’ signs on Saturday with around 70% of the maximum number of people coming into Waterkloof on Sunday. Sure, there will be people who will hitch up their caravans and head off for the long weekend but there are also people who will think ‘Monday’s a holiday, so why not go and enjoy the airshow?’
He would not give details but promised “a real showstopper” for the airshow on Sunday.
“It will be special,” was all he would say.
Speaking at the same briefing Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the 2018 AAD would have more than 300 exhibitors representing 37 countries. Invitations have been sent to 175 official delegations from 47 countries and by Monday indications were that 90 would attend. The delegations are from African countries as well as other foreign countries and include ministers and deputy minister of defence, chiefs of defence forces and services.