Lockheed’s lesson for Asia’s disparate airshows

Northrop-Lockheed chalet.jpgI love my job – I go to airshows and conferences around the Asia Pacific, see fantastic flying displays, and meet top industry officials. Since the economic crisis and as the recovery got underway, however, I have heard a constant complaint – there are simply far too many events for the industry.


Lockheed Martin’s decision to scale down its participation at this year’s Farnborough Airshow, therefore, holds a lesson for Asian countries.

The biennial Singapore Airshow and Asian Aerospace (the commercial-only show in Hong Kong) attempt reach out to the wider regional markets. In Asia, possibly only India (where Aero India in Bangalore and Indian Aviation in Hyderabad take turns) and China (Zhuhai Airshow) can justify having country-specific shows due to the size of the aerospace market in those countries.

Yet, we also have smaller events being held either annually or once every two years in Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Australia and even tiny Brunei. Japan Aerospace takes place once every four years.

Surely, it is time for the organisers of these shows to review their plans and take into account the “new reality” that Lockheed is talking about. The industry’s budget is being stretched, and it makes less sense to commit to so many events.

Perhaps, it is time for the event organisers to come together and coalesce around one or two big regional events. Otherwise, the industry may just do it for them. Lockheed have begun.

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