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New African aerospace show announced as AfBAA and Aviation Africa to unite events

Ragheb and Brown sign the Memorandum of Understanding
Today at this year’s AfBAA Regional Symposium being held in Addis Ababa, it was announced that the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) and Times Aerospace, part of the Times Group, publisher of African Aerospace magazine and owner of the Aviation Africa conference, are joining forces to develop an annual dedicated business aviation event.

The event will initially co-locate, bringing together the already successful AfBAA Regional Symposium and the recently launched Aviation Africa exhibition and summit, which debuted to great acclaim in May this year. The arrangement will see the two parties working together for the next five years to develop and expand the concept of a dedicated pan-African aerospace show covering all elements of business and commercial aviation.  

A number of locations are currently under consideration for the first outing of the new African Business Aviation Show (ABAS) and Aviation Africa. The final location selection will be announced later this year when the review is complete. The meeting will extend across three days incorporating a one-day AfBAA Symposium dedicated to the business aviation sector, and a two-day conference covering government and regulatory affairs as well as commercial aviation. Chalets, booths and a static display of all types of aircraft will add to the exhibition offering.  

“Many of the same concerns, such as open skies policies, regulatory issues, human resource management, training and safety, are affecting commercial and business aviation across the continent. The combining of the market segments will allow delegates from each sector to exchange experiences, knowledge and ideas. In parallel the one-day symposium and two day conference will focus on inherent issues associated with each sector. “We recognized that similar issues are cropping up across the board and by bringing delegates together from both sectors we can provide an opportunity for them to learn from each other,” said Tarek Ragheb, Founding Chairman of AfBAA.  

Mark Brown, Managing Director of the Times Group said: “This is an exciting time for aviation in Africa and we know there will be great interest in the sector as it grows. We hope that by incubating the new business aviation show alongside Aviation Africa will allow it to develop to become a stand alone event along the lines of the successful international business aviation events.”  

Commercially many of the suppliers in Africa serve both business and commercial aviation clients. It is anticipated the event will enable them to address both sectors at the same time. “We are very pleased that we can provide this burgeoning aviation market a convenient platform to maximize exhibitors’ and delegates’ time and budget,” Brown said. “Together we are greater than the sum of our individual organisations and it made sense to collaborate on this innovative new venture.”  

The Times Aerospace Events partnership includes Dubai-based Access Group whose principals Clive Richardson and Alison Weller have decades of airshow management experience including the Singapore Airshow, Dubai Airshow and MEBAA show.  

“Africa has been starved of such networking and marketing opportunities, but we think this is the first step in the right direction and look forward to working with AfBAA to grow their business aviation event to meet the needs of this burgeoning industry,” Brown said.  

Delegates at the AfBAA Regional Symposium welcomed the news as Ragheb and Brown signed the Memorandum of Understanding during the morning session on the first day.

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