Bengaluru to host Aero India 2019 in February

People watch an air display during the fifth and final day of the 11th biennial edition of Aero India 2017 at the Yelahanka Air base, in Bengaluru. (DH File Photo/Ranju P)

The 2019 edition of Aero India will be held in Bengaluru from February 20-24, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on Saturday.

The official announcement ends weeks of speculation on whether the biennial show would be moved out of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Yelahanka station, which has hosted the show since the first edition in the mid-1990s.

“The government has decided to hold Aero India 2019 in Bengaluru from February 20-24, 2019. This five-day event will combine a major trade exhibition for the aerospace and defence industries with public air shows,” the ministry stated.

Besides global leaders and big investors from the aerospace industry, the show will see participation by think tanks from across the world as well.

“The show will provide a unique opportunity for exchange of information, ideas and new developments in the aviation industry. Besides giving a fillip to the domestic aviation industry, it would further the cause of Make in India,” the ministry further stated.

The declaration comes months after reports that the MoD was contemplating shifting the show to Bakshi ki Talab Air Force Station in Lucknow.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath openly pitched for the show last month while Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was non-committal over Bengaluru hosting the show.

Several politicians from Karnataka, including Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, wrote to Nirmala, a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, requesting her to continue with the air show in Bengaluru.

The city's airport authorities, too, came out in support of the show, making it clear that its operation would not be hampered by the flying of fighter aircraft from Yelahanka.

While the IAF and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) were asked to scope out the Bakshi ki Talab IAF station in Lucknow, the MoD received several representations from politicians, foreign nations and defence manufacturing companies with a request to not shift the show from Bengaluru at the last moment and not to advance it to November 2018, as reported in a section of the media.

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  • Aero India
  • Ministry of Defence