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New helicopters to take part in exhibition

by BuaNews Online
on 10 Sep 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

This year's Africa Aerospace and Defence 2008 (AAD 2008) Exhibition promises to be more exciting than previously with the participation of the Department of Defence's recently acquired state-of-the art helicopters.

The AAD exhibition opens on 17 September at Ysterplaat Air Force Base in Cape Town for three trade days, with the public getting access on 20 and 21 September.

The acquisition of the helicopters, including submarines and corvettes, is part of the Strategic Arms Procurement Package approved by Cabinet in 2001.

The helicopters include Gripen, Hawk, Agusta A109 and the SA Navy's shipborne Super Lynx helicopters, as well as the Rooivalk and Oryx.

Also taking part would be the South African Navy submarine and frigate.

A new addition to the show is a dedicated section for Light Sports Aircraft (LSA), which include home-built and kit aircraft, microlights and gliders.

According to the organisers, more than 400 exhibitors from at least 25 countries will be exhibiting at the show.

The show is also expected to attract around 17 000 trade visitors and 70 000 visitors on each of the two public days.

The last show, AAD 2006 in Cape Town, drew more than 22 000 professional trade visitors from Africa and beyond. The public days with the air show featuring some of the world's most advanced aircraft drew 90 000 spectators.

This year's show also coincides with the South African government's strategy for strengthening, growing and forging worldwide alliances for its domestic aerospace, air transport, maritime, land systems, security and space industries.

AAD 2008 will provide a unique opportunity for industry and the media to get to grips with the opportunities unfolding on the African continent, particularly as South African industry joins hands with its international partners.

More than 200 foreign and local journalists have applied for media accreditation to cover AAD 2008.

AAD 2008 is co-owned by the South African Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association (AMD), Armscor, and the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA) and fully supported by the Department of Defence.

"With more than 30 countries exhibiting, all exhibition space in the nine halls and the static aircraft park has been 100 percent sold out," said Mr Geoff van Hees, AAD show organiser.

"This is exceptional and we are grateful for the huge support we're getting for the Cape Town venue."

The general aviation sector is also well represented with the latest aircraft like Dassault's 7X business jet (able to fly non-stop from Europe to Johannesburg) and NAC's brand new Hawker 4000. It is expected Brazil's Embraer will bring one of its regional airliners.

Those interested in viewing can avoid the queues by purchasing pre-paid tickets that are available from all Cape Town Tourism and National Sea Rescue Institute Offices.

Tickets cost less than the gate price (R40 for adults and R30 for pensioners and children under 12). Entrance, gates will open from 6am on public days.

Kiosks on site will provide ample refreshments and therefore picnic baskets will not be allowed.

For security reasons at Air Force Base Ysterplaat, alcohol, gas braais or open fires, firearms and pets are prohibited. - BuaNews

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