Alouette II vs. Gautrain…


Marks, ready… It was Gautrain against the Air Force (and the Air Force reigned supreme).

And although you may not be able to be flown to the air force’s annual show in Pretoria by helicopter, you can definitely use the Gautrain and its buses (slightly slower, admittedly) this weekend to make your visit to the air show much easier.

But first the races.

The air force is putting its best foot forward for this weekend’s air show, a major event on the aviation calendar. This week’s races between an Alouette II from the Air Force Museum and a Gautrain train between Midrand and Centurion were part of the marketing campaign for this show. It was of course also a platform to show off the air force’s skills and the museum’s special offer before the show.

Maj. Gen. Mayenzeke Matanda, deputy air force chief, says that through aviation awareness, the air force is trying to maintain national pride in the South African Air Force.

Even more, the air show also plays a crucial role in generating much-needed revenue that is used to repair, restore and keep the Air Force’s aircraft in the air. The money is also used to preserve aircraft that no longer fly as static exhibits for future generations.

The exciting air races were a taster for what awaits visitors to the air show on Saturday, says Matanda. And the Air Force certainly has bragging rights after the win.

The Gautrain is the airshow’s official transport partner and offers a free midibus service for ticket holders between the Gautrain’s Centurion station and Swartkop Air Force Base on the day of the airshow.

“Gautrain wants to position itself as the preferred transport service in the province, while we support several key events – be it for work, fun or entertainment -,” says Tshepo Kgobe, CEO of the Gautrain Management Agency.

“The partnership aims to promote the use of public transport to events, while enabling our communities to explore the air force base and museum, which they might not normally be able to visit.”

Gautrain also joined hands with the Air Force to expose children to the wonder of flying and demonstrate to them the possibility of careers in this field.

  • The air show takes place on Saturday, May 4, 2024, and runs from 07:00 to 17:00.
  • Midibus passengers must be able to show a ticket to the airshow to use the bus service for free.
  • The first Gautrain midibus departs from Gautrain’s Centurion station at 06:00 on Saturday.
  • After this, buses depart every 30 minutes between the Swartkop base and the station.
  • The last midibus leaves Swartkop at 18:00.
  • Pick-up and drop-off points for the bus service are at the Swartkop Air Force Base’s main entrance.
  • Standard train and parking rates for Gautrain apply.