With the upcoming Africa Aerospace and Defense show around the corner, excitement is definitely building as we were invited to the 100 day media launch at AFB Waterkloof officers mess in Pretoria. AAD known as the Africa Aerospace and Defense is a regular trade show and airshow held every two years at AFB Waterkloof in Pretoria South Africa ,this is all part of unlocking Africa’s Aerospace and defense potential. This show dates back to when DEXSA 1975 ,The Africa Aerospace and Defense (AAD) Expo was born from the Aerospace Africa civilian exhibition that originates from the 1975 Lanseria Air Show and the DEXSA military exhibition.
The first in the series of aviation exhibitions titled “Aviation Africa.”
In 1995 the AMD organised the hugely successful SAAF ’75 Expo in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the South African Air Force SAAF which is the second oldest air force in the world.During the trade exhibition, companies in the aviation industry were able to showcase their products in an indoor exhibition area, book hospitality chalets and display their aircraft in a static aircraft park.
The air show was open to the public and offered members of the general public the opportunity to view international aircraft.
During the last AAD in 2016,we saw 12 National pavilions,75 Official delegations from 37 countries,532 Exhibitors from 34 countries,33 862 Trade visitors from105 countries,56 924 general public visitors,444 accredited local and international media,146 military and civilian aircraft and 24 978 Exhibition space.
We were welcomed by Mr. Leon Dillman, CEO of CAASA The Commercial Aviation Association Of South Africa.The Youth Development Programme (YDP) forms an integral component of the Africa Aerospace and Defence Show, this years show promises to include the youth and provide as much needed information for them to have a career in the defence industry.
The Chief of the South African Airforce Lt Gen “Zakes” Fabian Zimpande Msimang Keynote Address on the occasion of AAD 2018 100 days countdown:
A UAV quadcopter made a brief appearance in the media room to welcome us with a 100 day countdown message!
The Chief of Staff from the Ministry of Defence and your counterpart from the Mayors Office in the city of Tshwane;Admirals and Generals from the SANDF;Senor Officers;Chairperson of AAD 2018 Policy Committee and senior representatives from the AAD partnership; Executives and Senior Managers from the SA Government in general as well as the Gauteng Province and the City of Tshwane in particular as our host Province and City respectively; Member’s of the Diplomatic Community should any be in attendance here today; Captains of Industry; Member’s of the Media; Ladies and Gentleman…
On behalf of our Minister of Defence and Military Veterans-Ms. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula- who is also the Chief patron for AAD;as well as on behalf of Gen Silly Shoke the CSANDF and custodian of AAD in the SANDF and whom I am effectively representing here today-I greet you and welcome you.
A special word of welcome goes to our guests of honour ,our exhibitors,sponsors as well as other key role-players and Partners on whose invaluable support we depend to make AAD a success especially SAA as our Official Carrier,The Gauteng development Agency-GGDA as well as Gautrain.
The number 100 has taken on a renewed significance for AAD. Not only has our CiC and President of the country recently completed his 100 days in the high office but today we are exactly 100 days from this seminal and 10th instalment of this global show piece and we do so in a year when our nation is celebrating the Centenary for our founding President and CiC.
It is now a matter of record, that AAD 2016 was a resounding success. Otherwise we would not be here launching the shows 10th instalment as scheduled for the 19th to the 23rd of September 2018 and I declare that WE ARE READY!!!
This years theme is “Unlocking Africa’s Aerospace and Defence Potential”. As already mentioned, this 10th edition of AAD takes place against the backdrop of the Nelson Mandela Centenary Celebrations. The SANDF is deeply honoured to remember Nelson Mandela as its founding Commander-in-Chief and continues to be inspired by his values and vision for a Defence Force that symbolizes unity and service to all our people. It is with this in mind that we have decided that, for the duration of AAD2018 expo, Hangar 1 at Waterkloof Airforce Base will be renamed ‘Madiba Hangar’ in honour of the first Commander in Chief.
Though hosted in our beautiful capital city ,AAD is not just a South African event but a continental spectacle as well as a premier global exhibition. The Africa Aerospace and Defence Expo represents the collective aspirations of our African people.The AAD demonstrates that Africans can be masters of their own density by creating the capability for defending themselves.It also showcases Africa’s defence industrial capability which is an integral part of any country’s ability to defend its sovereignty. At AAD 2016 the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula highlighted the global challenges that we,as democratic South Africa and a leading player in the various multilateral organisations, cannot afford to ignore. Today, I would like to add the regional challenges in the form of conflicts and the twin scourges of piracy and rhino poaching.
In collaboration with our partners on the Continent, we stand ready to face these challenges in the interest of peace and security. without this collaboration our beloved continent would never realise the much-needed socio-economic development that is key to strengthening democracy on the Continent.
We are all aware of the growing cyber-threat world wide that poses a risk to all countries. It is paramount that efficient, powerful and cost effective cyber defence and cyber security solutions are implemented to protect the critical information infrastructure. During AAD2018 a work session is planned to specifically address cyber security and all exhibitors operating inn this environment are invited to be part of and share best practices and innovations.
In context of the above, AAD is not only a national and continental assets AAD is also the means and the platform for sourcing the latest technologies, equipment, services and solutions whilst availing and exposing the to our partners. This ensures we are collectively enabled and empowered to co-operate and complement each otter’s efforts in addressing the challenges as and when the arise. It is for this reason that we will continue to support and host this exhibition and to grow it into a bigger and better show well into the future.
Another important element to this years edition is the transformational part of AAD which has partnered with tow small travel agencies as part of the development of Small Micro-Medium Enterprises. Wayam Travel and Seesa Destination Network are now the official travel partners to AAD 2018.
It is therefore, my honour to officiate at this countdown to AAD 2018. I invite all of you, in your various capacities to engage with the relevant nodal points within the AAD partnership and defence establishment.
I look forward to meeting you all of you at AAD 2018 and make tie to explore and experience our beautiful City of Tshwane as you enjoy this renowned premier defence exhibition
I Thank you and see you at AAD 2018!
Just before the end of the media Launch, The Gen. Msimang mentioned that many foreign International aircraft have been confirmed already for the show, we will announce the aircraft as soon as we know. AAD 2018 will showcase Africa’s largest Airshow, static display and live demonstrations. We were then treated to refreshments before departing AFB Waterkloof, keep your eyes on Aviation Central for more updates on AAD 2018.