Low exhibitor turnout feared for Aero India 2019
The slow pace of registrations for the forthcoming ‘Aero India 2019’, the country’s premier aerospace exhibition, has triggered a fear: This edition could end up getting the least number of exhibitors compared to the last four airshows, all held at the Air Force Station, Yelahanka, here.
Scheduled to be held from February 20 to 24, the airshow has so far attracted registrations from 226 companies, 156 of them Indian and 70 foreign. For the last airshow in 2017, a total of 549 companies had lined up. The 2015 edition had scored even better with 594 exhibitors.
Widespread speculation that the event might be shifted out of Bengaluru to Lucknow had delayed the announcement of dates and the venue.
But the confirmed participation of Dassault Aviation and Rafale International, both in the spotlight over the controversial fighter jet deal, is expected to attract attention at the airshow. Also on the registered list are global aviation majors, Airbus and Boeing, the Russian Rosoboronexport, Israel Aerospace Industries, Swedish firm SAAB AB and Embraer.
After a formal opening ceremony on February 20, the airshow will be thrown open to business visitors from 1 pm to 5 pm on the first day. Only business visitors will be permitted from February 20 and 22, 9 am to 5 pm. February 23 and 24 have been reserved for general visitors.
The daily flight displays will be held from 10 am to noon and from 2 pm to 5 pm. Ticket price for air display visitors has been fixed at Rs 600 per day for Indian visitors and $25 for foreign visitors. However, the fee to enter the exhibitor area for general visitors is higher at Rs 1,800.
At least two foreign aerobatic teams are expected to perform at this year’s show. Besides 72 participating aircraft, the 2017 edition had seen the Scandinavian Air Show team and the Yakovlevs Aerobatic team take to the skies.