Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Aviation set to celebrate 50 years with some amazing displays

For the second time this year the public is set to be treated to a day of incredible aerobatic displays as the Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) hosts the Gaborone International Airshow. 

The event, schedule for Saturday September 24 at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (SSKA), is set to celebrate the input the aviation sector has made to the development of the tourism industry for the past 50 years.

“Through the Airshow, we are also looking to recognise those who have contributed to aviation in Botswana through the years,” said BTO’s Marketing Manager, Julian Blackbeard when launching the event on Tuesday.

She said there would be displays during the event which would showcase the local aviation history. Blackbeard said the event would feature up to 50 aircraft-fighter jets, helicopters, gliders, and among others. 

Not to be seen to be competing with the existing annual Matsieng Airshow, Blackbeard clarified that BTO’s Gaborone International Airshow is just a once-off event to celebrate 50 years of aviation in Botswana. 

“In fact we are working with Matsieng Airshow organisers for this event,” she said. She pointed out that they were also trying, through the Airshow, to engage young people and cultivate their interest in flying. 

“We have invited 800 unprivileged children and orphans from various communities including SOS, Childline Botswana and Stepping Stones to join us at the air show.”

She said activities during day would include the story of aviation through the years (Hall of Fame), Static Aircraft ÔÇô display of aircrafts operating in and around Botswana and some invited aircrafts. “It will give the public an opportunity to view the planes closer and board some of them.  “It’s not only about celebrating aviation, but bringing aviation to the youth through edutainment,” Blackbeard said, adding that ”we live with aviation every day and yet some feel it is beyond their reach. This Airshow is about making aviation accessible to everyone”.

She promised the public would get to see exciting displays performed by skydivers, the world’s top aerobatic (both individual and formation displays), high speed jets, amazing stunts including aeroplanes and motorbikes combined, as well as roof top landing on a moving vehicle (which was also displayed at this year’s WesBank International Airshow at Matsieng Aerodrome), ending with the Harvard Formation fly-by at dusk. It remains to be seen if the once-off Gaborone International Airshow will live up to expectations.


Read this week's paper