We rocked the runway!
Victorious moments indeed. The 2018 Kishugu Lowveld Airshow, supported by ABSA Bank and in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover Nelspruit and KMI Airport, walked away with the trophy for the Best Air Show of the Year. This prestigious black-tie event was held on Saturday 17 November at Wanderer’s Club in Johannesburg. It was a very sweet moment for the Lowveld Air Show committee’s Chairman, Johan Heine, to have received the trophy.
The annual Air Show of the Year Awards, in association with Air Show South Africa (ASSA), ensure for some stiff competition. According to Rikus Erasmus, Chairperson of ASSA, there are normally between 18 to 20 air shows in the country. This year, the Kishugu Lowveld Air Show won first prize, with the Rand Air Show in second place and the FAW Ermelo Air Show in third place. This is the third time that the Kishugu Lowveld Air Show has won this competition after being the first runner up last year.
“The criteria depends on everything from the flow and timeliness of the program, cleanliness of the venue, toilets and other facilities, flow of the terrain, uniqueness of the day, marketing of the event, media relations, audits on participants (pilots arrangements and program experience), quality of safety officers, flight director quality, quality checks through RAASA and pre-event applications, post show reports, management of the event and debriefing of event. Rikus continued by saying they do spot checks with task teams such as the Search and Rescue and Emergency response units and do dipstick audits throughout the planning and execution. These audits determine whether commutation, briefings and information sharing are on par. The Kishugu Lowveld Air Show ticked all these boxes.
According to Naranda Leeuwner, Marketing Manager for the Lowveld Air Show, they are the only committee that links a theme to an air show. This year, the Rock the Runway theme were a huge part of the success. “We had a live band and fireworks straight after the air show on the runway, which kept spectators until the late hours of the evening. After the thunderous roars of the Gripen Jet the rock band opening with “Thunder” from Metallica, set the tone for a great evening.” Rikus confirmed this. What placed the Kishugu Lowveld Air Show in first position, was the uniqueness of the event and how it was executed. “At first we raised our eyebrows to having a band play straight after the air show on the runway and wondered how this committee would manage to pull it off safely. They did it successfully,” Rikus said tongue in cheek.
“We are constantly trying to improve the quality of our air shows in the Lowveld. We thank all our excellent sponsors and partners, the quality, team effort and high standards of the organising committee and the participants and spectators who supported this event. This win was possible because of your involvement, love for aviation and interest shown. We thank you. You all helped us Rock the Runway,” Johan concluded.