549 aerospace firms, but airshow not as big as the previous one

549 aerospace firms, but airshow not as big as the previous one
The 11th edition of the biennial international aerospace and defence exhibition, Aero India 2017, will not match the records set by the last airshow in terms of participating nations and companies.

Compared to 635 companies and 42 countries in 2015, only 549 aerospace firms will be part of the show this time.  Betting big on ‘Make in India’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself had formally kicked off the last airshow. This time, Defence Minister Manohar Parikarr will do the honours at the Yelahanka Air Force Station here on February 14. The show will go on till February 18.

Seventy-two aircraft, both on static and flying display, will be part of the show. Among the fighter aircraft taking to the skies this time will be the American F-16, Swedish Gripen and French Rafale jets. While Rafale has already bagged a contract with the IAF, manufacturers of the other two aircraft are on the lookout for a bigger deal from the Indian government.

An estimated two lakh business visitors are expected to turn up at the Air Force Station, where a sprawling 27,678-square metre area has been decked up for the show. The space has gone up from 24,403 square metres in 2015.

Aero India, which began its journey in 1996, has carved a niche for itself as a premium aerospace and aviation exhibition of global repute. This year, the event is being organised and conducted by the Defence Exhibition Organisation (DEO).

Aerobatic displays

Beyond business, airshow buffs could look forward to breathtaking aerobatic displays by the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Sarang and Surya Kiran teams, the Scandinavian Airshow team from Sweden and the Evolvkos Aerobatic Team from the UK. After a gap, the Surya Kirans are returning with a brand new formation of Advanced Jet Trainer, Hawks.

Twenty-three countries will have their company stalls and official delegations. In all, 51 countries will be present at the airshow at multiple platforms.

Exhibitors from the US, France, the UK, Russia, Israel, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Ukraine, Singapore, Sweden, Spain, South Africa, Italy, the UAE, South Korea, Hong Kong, the Czech Republic, Canada, Australia, Poland and Greece have already confirmed participation.

Also lining up for the show will be 65 delegates comprising ministers of defence, service chiefs, heads of department from Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Sudan, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, the US and Uzbekistan.

Under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the airshow will host an investors’ meet on ‘Indian Aerospace’ and a session on ‘Make in India in Aerospace: Are MSMEs geared for it? – Reflections and the Way Forward’ on February 15.

Also on the airshow agenda are country-specific Round Tables. These will include Indo-Swiss, Indo-UK and Indo-Polish Business-to-Business (B2B) meetings. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Kerala are setting up exclusive SEZ pavilions to attract investments.
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