Africa Aerospace & Defence takes off

20 September 2012

More than 28 countries are showcasing their aircrafts’ capabilities at the 7th Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition and airshow, which kicked off at Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula officially opened Africa’s largest exhibition of air, sea and land capability, which is expected to attract thousands of local visitors and foreign tourists.

The exhibition, which was previously held at Air Force Base Ysterplaat in Cape Town in 2006, 2008 and 2010, returns to Waterkloof after extensive renovations and upgrades at the base.

From Wednesday through Friday, trade and static displays will attract visitors from more than 28 countries, followed by an airshow on Saturday and Sunday that will be open to members of the public.

The trade days, which will feature 12 national pavilions from India, Russia, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Belgium, China, USA, UK, Romania, Pakistan and Brazil, are expected to stimulate business for local and international companies involved in the growing defence, general aviation and security industries.

For the public, the allure of the show will be in the form of breath-taking aerobatic displays on the weekend.

There will also be lots of entertainment for the whole family, including static displays of aircraft, trucks and armoured vehicles and an entertainment park for children.

According to the organisers, this year’s event will have a positive impact on the local economy through tourism as well as the business deals that are expected to be concluded during and after the event.

According to the organisers, all the exhibition space was sold out almost three months before the show.