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The Present Day

Placo (Pty) Ltd has once again re-established itself as an aviation organisation of choice within Africa. Its goal and vision is to reach the levels of excellence and to surpass those levels which Placo was known for in the golden years of African general aviation. To achieve these goals requires a degree of strategizing and foresight to stimulate further growth.

The Parts division was re-opened on 1 July 2016, and will continue to focus on and supply a large inventory of parts. Placo has always had a strong parts business and moving ahead various decisions have been made to strengthen Placo’s parts business.

Placo’s maintenance division will continue to operate as a highly regarded SACAA approved Piper, Cessna, Cessna Caravan and Beechcraft Piston Engine Service Centre. Placo is also in the process of obtaining its licencing to maintain the P-750 XSTOL aircraft.

Official Representative for Pacific Aerospace in Africa

Placo is an official representative for Pacific Aerospace Limited (PAL) within Africa. Our product focus for marketing, sales and services is on the new P-750 XSTOL, Expedition E350 and the CT-4E AirTrainer across Africa.

The decision was made by Boshoff to align Placo’s aircraft sales strategy with those strategies of a reputable OEM whose products are a true African fit. Financial packages are available for interested customers and will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Placo will be focusing on establishing a one stop shop for its new P-750 XSTOL, Expedition E350 and CT-4E clients, by providing maintenance as well as parts support.

Together with the new aircraft sales strategy, Placo will also be focussing on the pre-owned aircraft market. Placo is therefore also very excited to have Gert Mouton joining its family as its Aircraft Sales Manager. Gert Mouton has been in aviation for 40 years and his knowledge of general aviation is surpassed by none and this will make him a great asset to Placo.

There is no doubt that in 80-odd years in business, Placo has built a depth and breadth of aviation expertise, underpinned by reliability, maintainability, endurance and state-of-the-art technology. Placo will use this expertise to grow as it focuses on the aircraft sales market within Africa.

It is the wish of all Placo staff members that PLACO will nurture and develop relationships with current and future customers, and in so doing, establish an Aviation Organisation with which its customers would want to become part of a 79 year legacy.

At present Placo’s head-office is stationed at Rand Airport operating a maintenance and parts business.


Placo has a very long and rich history within the South African Aviation Sector. During the 1930's, the City Council of Pretoria (CCP) made the decision to build a landing strip on the farm Wonderboom which was approximately 15km to the North of Pretoria. Wonderboom Airport and the landing strip was open for air traffic in 1937.

Mr Peter van der Woude was the founder and proud owner of Placo and he became a leading figure within the South African Aviation industry. During the early years Wonderboom Airport became the base for the Pretoria Light Aircraft Company (PLACO) and the Pretoria Flying Club. Although the property belonged to the CCP, Peter van der Woude and his company PLACO, was responsible for managing the airport.

Between 1937 and 1940, PLACO had the responsibility of training student pilots for the government and at the same time Placo also undertook chartered flights. When the Second World War started in September 1939, the Department of Defence took over the airport and aircraft for military purposes and the PLACO personnel joined the South African Air Force. By 1940, practically all civil aviation training was ceased and military flight training activities were moved from Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and East London to Wonderboom Airport.

During the years of war, pilots for both the Royal Air Force and SA Air Force were trained at Wonderboom Airport due to the location being far away from the war zone and the pilots could experience ideal weather patterns. This training ended on 8 March 1946

The Defence Force handed the airport back to the CCP in 1945. After the war, extensive extensions of the airport took place. Except for training, the airport was also used for chartered flights and maintenance of aircraft. Most of these services were managed by PLACO.

Mr. Cayasas Modisa, South Africa's first black pilot, received his training at Wonderboom Airport.

In 1946 Placo was awarded the Piper Distributorship and held the distributorship until 2011 when NAC was awarded with the agency. Placo was the longest International Piper distributor in the world, making it truly an ambassador for the brand.