Links between Africa and the Middle East are being reinforced through the location of the 2018 Aviation Africa event, which will take place at the Intercontinental Hotel City Stars in Cairo, April 17-18.
Hosted by EgyptAir and under the auspices of the Minister of Civil Aviation, HE Sherif Fathy, the event includes a two-day top-level summit, an exhibition featuring 70 exhibitors, and a meet-the-buyer programme.
The conference programme is being driven by an advisory board made up of no fewer than 10 airline chief executives as well as representatives of key sectors such as MRO, cargo operations, airports, safety and business aviation.
The value of the advisory board has been priceless,” said Alan Peaford, MBE, who will be chairing the conference. “We are really getting into the nitty gritty of what is important for the airlines and the whole aviation industry and I think we will be going into some new areas of thinking. With involvement in the programme from organisations like AfRAA, IATA, ACI, and ICAO I am confident there will be a line-up of speakers and panellists that will be both impressive and drive the discussions forward.”
Heading the agenda will be security. Minister Fathy backed the need to have the subject as a major theme. “Security – especially cyber security – is one of the biggest threats to aviation.” he said.
Former EgyptAir Maintenance and Engineering chairman Hisham Nasser, who is now recognised as a leading advisor on MRO will be one of the speakers addressing how the maintenance industry must change. “From physical security to the protection of paperwork and records, the industry needs to be focused.” he said.
Speakers will be coming from across Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
Chris Zweigenthal, chief executive of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa will be leading airlines from the south of the continent. Speakers from the main associations, from the African Development Bank, major manufacturers and the innovators of the latest technology developments will also be addressing the conference.
The Summit will be looking into the region’s infrastructure to understand what is needed and how it can be funded; “Of course the old thorny issue of Open Skies will arise, but with several airline panels from legacy flag carriers to new LCCs, I don’t think there is consensus. We could really get to grips with why it is taking so long … and if it will ever happen,” Peaford said.
Mark Brown, managing director of Times Aerospace who are the main organiser of the event said the exhibition was already at 60% sold with nearly six months to go.
With 10 airline CEOs as partners on the event, we have been promised great support from those companies to bring along key personnel. The exhibitors are excited and so are we. Having the backing of the Minister and the support of the whole EgyptAir group as our main sponsor has been fantastic. There are government to government invitations being sent out and I am convinced we will be seeing a great turnout.”
The Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition will take place at the Intercontinental Hotel City Stars, close to Cairo’s international airport on April 17-18 2018. Further details on exhibition space, sponsorship and programme can be found at www.aviationafrica.aero