The highs and the lows of an important aviation event!
By Athol Franz
Africa Aerospace and Defence 2018 (AAD2018) staged in mid-September had several serious flaws and it is with mixed feelings that I have compiled this report. From the excellent organisation by the lead partner, the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA), as opposed to the shocking treatment of civilians and international guests by the SA Military.
On the one hand CAASA went out of its way to make AAD2018 a pleasant experience for all attendees, but when it comes to the overall condition of AFB Waterkloof, this is a significant challenge, because frankly the airbase is in a very poor condition. The general behaviour of the SA Military was shocking where AAD exhibitors and trade visitors were once again subjected to unnecessary harassment by military personnel when they collected their badges at the AFB Waterkloof Officers’ Mess. When will the SA military realise the incredible damage it has done to past AAD exhibitions including this year’s edition of AAD and what this behaviour holds for future years of AAD? Fundamental good manners are seriously absent, whilst the authoritarian and generally unfriendly attitude of the Military Police in particular is a serious challenge to future AAD exhibitions.