The South African aviation industry will have an opportunity to find out more about the Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet 100 at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition less than two months away.
AAD organisers said in a statement that “a display” of the Sukhoi Superjet will be one of the new additions to the line-up adding to the global flavour of the exhibition at AFB Waterkloof in Centurion from September 14 to 18.
“The Sukhoi Superjet 100 will make its local debut at AAD this year,” said Nakedi Phasha, exhibition marketing and communications manager.
“It is a product of the Russian UAC aerospace company and has been flying regional routes in central and Eastern Europe since 2011. It can carry up to 150 passengers and may elicit interest from African airlines looking aircraft to operate on regional routes”.
Kevin Wakeford, chief executive of Armscor, sees the 2016 iteration of AAD as being the largest ever event of its kind on the continent and is confident show attendance will be more than the hundred thousand of 2014.
During the first three days the focus will be on representatives from the defence and technology sectors who will visit the 13 pavilions with exhibitors from more than 30 countries while the public will be able to attend the air show on the weekend of 17 and 18 September.
Wakeford maintains there is a growing interest in the global defence and aerospace sector to have a presence at AAD, notwithstanding the current economic climate and demonstrating that the African aviation market is on the brink of a boom.
The number of aircraft passengers has grown at a rate of just under six percent a year since 2010 and expectations are this trend will accelerate with increased urbanisation and expansion of the African middle class.
“AAD is the best place to be for major aerospace and defence companies wanting to display products and systems to African decision makers,” the man at the helm of Armscor said.
The defence and security acquisition agency is the lead co-ordinator for AAD 2016 along with partners AMD (the SA Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industry Association), representing over 70 local defence industry companies; the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA), with more than 200 general aviation companies as members; and the Department of Defence and Military Veterans.
Other firsts expected this year are participation by the Australian and Greek defence industries. They will join AAD regulars such as France, India, Turkey and the United States who have participated in eight previous AADs.