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Grippen Lands at Grand Central Aiport

Grippen Lands at Grand Central Aiport

SkyWright, in collaboration with Grand Central Airport and TheMillionairesLifestyle.Com hosted a function on Friday 26 January 2018 in the Executive Lounge at Grand Central Airport, with the aim of spurring on growth and development in the South African aviation industry, the theme for the evening being entrepreneurship, youth and aerospace.

This event was planned as the starting block for growing a collaboration within the aviation industry in South Africa from early on in the year,and has definitely succeeded in this respect. Organized as a VIP and invitation only event, the turnout to the evening was exceptional, with key role players in the aviation industry realizing the uniqueness and potential of such an event. The attendees included representatives from AAD, AMD, South African aerospace companies, academia, government officials active in the technical space of aerospace development, as well as already successful entrepreneurs in various industries and aspiring entrepreneurs and inventors in the aerospace industry who will seek to change the ball game for South African designed aircraft and components over the next few years.

Part of the event was the static display of the pinnacle of aviation technology and its implementation in South Africa through the SAAF, who were present with a JAS 39C Gripen of 2 Sqn and an Agusta A109 of 19 Sqn. Aeronautical Solutions and NAC, both tenants at Grand Central Airport, provided a BK117 and Bell 430 for the display, respectively.

Executive class entertainment for the evening was organized by TheMillionairesLifestyle.Com, who provided several exclusive wines, including the impeccable Miljard, Carol Boyes and Taillard Family wines for tasting, and also organized a prestigious art exhibition which included a display of several works, courtesy of Alice Art Gallery and a local ceramics artist. Several of the artists were also in attendance which added an additional excitement to the evening.

McCarthy Centurion rounded up the entertainment for the event with several exotic cars on show, which were eagerly explored and talked about by the guests on the evening.

The relaxed atmosphere, together with the impact of having the SAAF present with their aircraft, pilots and ground crew, were without a doubt the spark which ignited the one-on-one discussions for the evening. Discussions were held regarding the development of South Africa’s aerospace industry, and aspiring entrepreneurs could ask questions on how to fund their inventions from experienced people, as well as make key links into academia which will be critical in supporting the development of their inventions. The role of youth in the aerospace industry was also discussed, and how to ensure that the incredible wealth of knowledge currently in the hands of South African engineers can be passed down to the next generation to enable our aerospace industry to grow from strength to strength. The first steps were taken to bringing foreign investment and cooperation into our civil aviation sector and these talks will now continue on a more formal basis.

The event was an outstanding success and many people present have already enquired about follow up events. The impression from those attending, that the industry as a whole took the first steps to a more aligned, sustainable and thus stronger, South African aerospace sector is in line with what we set out to do. As a result, SkyWright will certainly be hosting another event of this type in the future and the benefits to the industry will be noticeable as our aerospace sector continues to develop.

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