AAD 2018 the biggest Defence & Aerospace Exhibition in Africa

With less than two months to opening day, the 10th edition of Africa Aerospace & Defence (AAD) is gaining increased attention from exhibitors and other role players in the aerospace and defence field. This is exemplified by the number of confirmed exhibitors, the record number of national pavilions confirmed to date, as well as major sponsors that have pledged support towards the event.

AAD 2018 the biggest Defence and Aerospace Exhibition in Africa 925 001
AAD 2018 Aerospace and Defence Exhibition will take place in South Africa from the 19 to 23 September 2018. (Picture source AAD)

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. According to the organisers, AAD 2018 will once again be a world-class showcase, with spectacular aerial and ground displays, some of which have never been seen before on the African continent.

"We are currently still engaging several countries to finalise their participation of aircraft," said Leon Dillman, CEO of the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA), the lead partner tasked with ensuring the success of the popular air show and exhibition. "As we await confirmation of aircraft types, we hope to make an announcement shortly; watch this space”, commented Dillman.

National pavilions confirmed are Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France (a new pavilion), Germany, Italy, Namibia, Russia, Turkey, Poland, USA and UK. With Lithuania taking a national pavilion, this brings the total number of pavilions to 14 thus far.

Besides national pavilions, local and foreign exhibitors have booked up virtually all available space at AFB Waterkloof. According to Dillman, most outdoor space has been sold out and more than 90% of indoor exhibition space has also been taken. Of the available hospitality chalets, more than 80% have been booked.

A new feature on the AAD 2018 programme will be seminars, covering topical subjects such as "Cyber Security" and "The Future of Drones". Seminars at major exhibitions have gained popularity worldwide, both as a means to convey key capabilities in a specific field to the toplevel decision-makers attending the exhibition and to enable the industry to engage on a wider front. These seminars are scheduled to run over the three trade days, i.e. 19 to 21 September. A complete schedule will be communicated in due course.

"For this reason, we offer a number of small theatres with seating capacity of fifty (50) for presentations, product launches and media briefings, which are ideal at a venue like Waterkloof," explains Dillman.

Given the importance of drones in both the military and commercial spheres, and at the behest of drone manufacturers, AAD2018 will once again feature a dedicated drone pavilion at AAD 2018, according to Dillman.

The Exhibitor Briefing is scheduled for July. Trade registration (for trade visitors only) will open on 15 May 2018. Trade visitors are invited professional and business persons primarily engaged in legitimate areas of defence, general aviation, the military, government, equipment procurement, end-users of such equipment and research entities. This precludes persons under the age of 18 years. The trade invitation is valid only for the Trade days 19 to 21 September 2018.

For any prospective exhibitors that still wish to participate, Dillman advises them to access the E-zone on the AAD website (http://www.aadexpo.co.za/portal/login) where bookings can be made. This is done on a first-come-first-serve basis.