The first ever African Air Show will be hosted by Ghana from October 24 to 26, 2017, at the Kotoka International Airport, under the auspices of the Ministry of Aviation.
The Expo, which is being organised in collaboration with the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), is the first of its kind in West Africa and is expected to establish Ghana as an aviation hub in the sub-region.
Speaking at a press briefing on the African Air Show 2017, Ms. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister of Aviation, said it was important and in line with the Ministry’s vision to establish Ghana as an aviation hub and to organise events like the Air show, which will showcase the opportunities available in the sector, both in Ghana and Africa.
The Air show will comprise two sessions; the exhibition and a conference and is expected to attract about 100 exhibitors, who have already registered, and an estimated 3,000 participants.
The exhibitors include government departments, airport companies, airlines, flight school academies, ground handling services, military and defence, security agencies, cargo handling services, representatives of aircraft manufacturers, among others.
“The main aim of the Exhibition and Conference is to actively engage major players within the African and global aviation space, with the view of positioning the African aviation industry at the forefront of regional and global interest,” she stated.
It is also expected to provide a forum for stakeholders to interact with prospective investors in the development of Ghana and Africa’s aviation infrastructure and services and bring stakeholders up to speed with the dynamics of the industry by sharing experiences.
Ms Dapaah said the President, Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo, would be the patron for the event, the organisation of which is being done in partnership with 4M Events of Abu Dhabi, organisers of the Paris Air Show.
She commended the local organising committee for coordinating the organisation of the Show and urged corporate bodies in Ghana to support the event by sponsoring it. She also called on the media to publicise the event and contribute to its success.
Mrs Joyce Bannerman Wood, Director, Legal, at the GACL and Chair of the Local Organising Committee said preparations for the Air Show started in 2014 but was postponed to 2016 and then to 2017 when the LOC was launched by the Minister.
She noted that while the committee had been able to chalk several successes, including securing some sponsorship for the event, the previous postponements had been a challenge to some stakeholders.
She stressed however that the show would come off in October as announced. The exhibition will be held on the airside of the Kotoka International Airport. The area has been fenced off and demarcated for the exhibition.
Mr Simon Allotey, Director-General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) assured that the Show would not affect normal flight operations in any way, as measures had been put in place to ensure that normal schedules are not interrupted, while ensuring safety.
Mr Didier Mary, Managing Director of 4M Events, noted that while it had taken a long time to get to this stage of the event, it was a normal thing, as planning such events usually take a long time.
He said his company had chosen to work with Ghana, because its aviation sector had the potential to grow stronger.