#AviaDev2018 ends on a high note


(Posted 15th June 2018)

AviaDev Cape Town 2018 had, by common consensus among delegates and exhibitors, a flying start as a stand alone event after Bench Events took the decision to hold the conference outside the past format when it was part of AHIF, the Africa Hotel Investment Forum.
Nearly 300 delegates and exhibitor personnel attended the event at the Tsogo Sun Cape Sun Hotel, and the choice of venue undoubtedly only helped in accomplishing Jon Howell’s objectives.
Day two of the event started with the much awaited charity run but the skies opened up at the very moment when the run was to go underway as a massive storm had overnight moved in from the Atlantic ocean and hit the ‘Mother City‘.
This might have pleased the water company and residents – to a point at least – given the perennial drought the Western Cape has suffered over the past years but those wanting to run or walk the course were promptly soaked and the participants subsequently returned from the Cape Town stadium venue back to the hotel.
The day’s proceedings commenced with a much awaited presentation about the future of transportation in the cities under the theme of ‘UBER Elevate. Disruptive Innovation Session. The Future of Transportation – Closer than we think‘ during which Raul Villaron of Embraer demonstrated the advanced development of an aerial remote guided vehicle developed in partnership with UBER before an UBER representative then let the proverbial cat out of the bag vis a vis future infrastructure landing and take off hubs on the ground to facilitate up to a thousand movements an hour.
AviaDev will over the next few days provide YouTube links to this and other sessions and initial feedback to tweets from the room indicated immense interest among ATCNews.org readers and followers on the various platforms.
Next discussed was aviation infrastructure development and financing before this correspondent himself moved on stage for the session ‘The public perception of airlines in Africa‘ in a conversation with Chris Klick, former Group Spokesperson of Lufthansa and former Corporate VP at Star Alliance. Other discussants were Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of the Airline Association of Southern Africa and the General Manager Commercial of Air Namibia.
Manish Shrivastava of Travel Commerce Solutions then gave an overview after the coffee break of new technologies and merchandising opportunities available to aviation and related businesses before Richard Maslen and his panel then concluded the sessions deliberating how profitability can be driven by the use of state of the art technologies.
The final session of the conference part before lunch was then dedicated to having Raphael Kuuchi on stage, not just to be given the inaugural Ato Girma Wake Award for his contributions to aviation in Africa but also to narrate his own story.
Girma Wake of course, former CEO of Ethiopian Airlines and former Chairman of RwandAir, himself is seens as one of the continent’s foremost aviation gurus and the two on stage together provided a befitting highlight and climax of the conference proceedings.
B2B and One on One meetings then unfolded for the second day after lunch in a dedicated exhibition area on the floor below the conference room where deals were struck and sales completed, adding value to the attendance of the delegates to AviaDev2018.
Jon Howell and his team were taking their bows as compliments were rained upon them – pun intended giving the rainstorm they encountered for their morning charity run – and Jon then told ATCNews.org how much the AviaDev and Bench Events teams appreciated the turnout:

I would like to specifically thank our hosts, Cape Town Air Access for being a fantastic host partner and providing us with an incredible experience. Many thanks also to our terrific speakers, moderators and presenters who delivered a thought-provoking and inspiring conference. We will now begin work on producing a white paper outlining the key takeaways that will be shared with each and every one of you, in addition to editing the conference sessions and adding these to YouTube so you can watch them back.

The event would not be possible without the support of all our sponsors, so many thanks for believing in the project.

To all participants, thanks for supporting our drive to Advance Africa’s Connectivity in what we believe to be a fresh, fun and productive way. I am confident that we can deliver tangible results in terms of new business deals and new routes over the coming weeks, months and years.

Continue to follow us for an announcement about next year’s date and please take the time to complete the survey that you will be sent- we really do read your responses and it shapes the following year’s agenda along with input from my fantastic advisory board.

Finally, my team have been amazing and a real credit to the event. Almost all have volunteered to be here and I cannot thank them enough‘.

WESGRO CEO Tim Harris also returned once again to the conference venue, he too being thanked by not just the AviaDev team but also many of the delegates for the sponsorship role WESGRO provided for the conference event alongside other key partners from Cape Town.

ATCNews.org also used the opportunity to renew and continue with the media partnership agreed upon earlier in the year for the event and will continue coverage of upcoming AviaDev news and attendance of future conferences.