The launch of the inaugural African Show for General Aviation, AERO South Africa, welcomed over 4200 visitors to Wonderboom National Airport last weekend. The 3-day event was presented by Messe Frankfurt South Africa in partnership with Messe Friedrichshafen - who organise Europe's largest general aviation show - Aero Friedrichshafen.
The event featured over 87 local and international aviation companies including industry heavyweights such as Absolute Aviation, Century Avionics, Jeppesen, Garmin and BOSE. Leading industry experts presented high-quality workshop sessions over the 3 days and manufacturers were able to take prospective buyers on demo flights in order to illustrate the technical and handling capabilities of their aircrafts.
"We are pleased with the success of this launch event and the positive response from the industry. We pride ourselves in being a catalyst that promotes growth and business interactivity within the market," says Joshua Low, Managing Director of Messe Frankfurt South Africa.
In a first of its kind, AERO South Africa presented a "Park & Sell" area sponsored by AutoTrader. This dedicated area allowed private sellers the opportunity to be a part of the show and engage with potential buyers looking to purchase a pre-owned aircraft.
The free-to-attend exhibition exposed visitors to the latest the general aviation industry has to offer, from never been seen before aircrafts such as the Cirrus Vision Jet SF50 that was on display for the first time in South Africa, to "The Link" STEM Innovation Challenge, an exciting programme for Grade Ten scholars who excel in pure mathematics and physical science to learn more about flying drones at the Blue Chip hangar.
Both exhibitors and visitors expressed their satisfaction with this first-time business-to-business showcase. "The show was a great success and certainly met our expectations. We are confident that AERO South Africa will become the premier promotional platform for General Aviation and we look forward to participating again in the future," says Guy Worthington, Executive Director at Absolute Aviation. Fanie Jansen, the GM of Hiconnex, an aftermarket parts supplier, says "AERO South Africa connects the right people with the right industry. It is a firm platform to market your brand to a niche market."
On Saturday, 6 July, AERO South Africa hosted an official fly-in at Wonderboom National Airport which saw over 249 general aviation enthusiast fly-in to the show to be part of the first edition of the leading general aviation trade expo in the Southern region.
"We would like to thank all the exhibitors, sponsors, partners and visitors who participated in this event as well as the City of Tshwane and Wonderboom National Airport. Without your support, an event like this would not be possible," says Shaun Swart, Head of New Business Development at Messe Frankfurt South Africa.
"We are busy engaging with the industry as to suitable dates for the next Aero South Africa hope to announce when the next edition will take place in the next month" adds Swart.