History of AAD

Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) was born from the Aerospace Africa civilian exhibition (the roots of which lay in the original Lanseria air show in 1975) and the DEXSA military exhibition.

The first in the series of aviation exhibitions, which later became known as Aviation Africa and now Africa Aerospace & Defence, took place at Lanseria Airport in October 1975. The event was initiated by the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA) and World Airnews and held at the very new Lanseria Airport north of Johannesburg.

The event offered companies the opportunity to showcase their products indoor exhibition area, book hospitality chalets and display their aircraft in the static aircraft park and on the public days offered members of the general public the opportunity to view an international air show.In 1998 the two trade associations – the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA) and the Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association of South (AMD) – joined in organising Aerospace Africa. As was said at the time, “Since the first Aviation Africa in 1975, the exhibition has undergone many changes, from a local aero-display and trade show, operating from a small airport 22 years ago, Aviation Africa, under the auspices of the CAASA, has grown to a fully recognised international aerospace exhibition catering for all of the sub-Saharan aviation and aerospace requirements. “After AMD’s success in organising SAAF ’75 Expo, as part of the South African Air Force’s 75th anniversary celebrations in 1995, there was a growing request for further military trade exhibits and an air show. A joint venture between CAASA and AMD was therefore a natural progression.”

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