With only two months before the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2018 exhibition starts in Pretoria, it is hardly surprising that the vast majority of indoor and outdoor space, and all chalets, have been booked out.
96% of indoor space has been taken (with the majority 7 229 square metres booked by South African companies), and 99% of outdoor space booked, again with the majority taken by South African companies. All 42 chalets have been booked out, according to Leon Dillman, CEO of the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA).
The indoor space (12 794 square metres) booked so far is up slightly from AAD 2016 (12 721 square metres) but lower than AAD 2014 (13 885 square metres).
Regarding aircraft, 24 have booked their attendance in the static park, including 19 from South Africa and five from other countries. The AAD organisers have expressed concern over the drop in the number of commercial aircraft confirmed to attend compared to 2016.
It is not yet clear how many military aircraft will be participating, but the United States, for example, is hoping to bring a number of aircraft to the show, including the C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster III, HH-60 and others, but these have yet to be confirmed.
The organisers are hoping to be able to fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at Waterkloof during the show, but permission from the South African Air Force and Defence Intelligence has not yet been forthcoming. However, UAVs will be flying at Paardefontein. Aerial Monitoring Solutions and Paramount will be conducting demonstrations at the Paardefontein range outside Pretoria which will see vehicles, dogs and UAVs take part.
International exhibitors include companies from Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Italy, Jordan, Lithuania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Sudan, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and United States. Fifteen of these countries have national pavilions. Apparently the Ukraine will be taking part in AAD 2018, after nearly not being able to make it due to political reasons.
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 the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA), AAD 2018 will take place 19 to 23 September 2018 at its long-standing home of Air Force Base Waterkloof in Tshwane.
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. There will also be a dedicated UAV pavilion once again.
The AAD 2018 organisers have partnerships with several entities, including Gautrain (transit partner, which is expected to provide train and bus services to the show), the City of Tshwane (host city), the SABC (official broadcaster), Wayam Travel and Seeza Destination Network (travel partners) and South African Airways (official airline).