An SIA-liveried Airbus A380 and contenders for the city state’s basic trainer contest will be among stars of the last Asian Aerospace to be held in Singapore

Those visitors battling with the familiar traffic jams, security queues and humidity during next week’s Asian Aerospace may be comforted by the fact that this is the last year the event will be staged at the rather cramped, largely open-air site next to Singapore’s international airport. It is also the final time Asian Aerospace will be held in the island state.

Kiran Final Asian Aerospace show W445

From 2008, the Singapore government is to stage its own air show at a purpose-built site, near the current location, called the Changi International Air Show. Meanwhile, after about a quarter century, Reed Exhibitions, a sister company of Flight International, is to relaunch Asian Aerospace in a different Asian city, the name of which had still to be announced last week. The split is a result of a disagreement between Reed and the Singapore government.

Asian Aerospace’s organisers say that, despite the planned change in venue and backing, it has been “business as usual” as final preparation work has been taking place for this year’s show, to be held between 21 and 26 February. Held in conjunction with the air show is Asian Defence Technology 2006, which is billed as Asia’s leading defence exhibition.

“We are on target for Asian Aerospace 2006 to be one of our most successful shows in the event’s 25-year history,” says Asian Aerospace 2006 president Ed Ng.

More visitors

The organisers say the 2004 show attracted nearly 27,000 visitors over four trade days. There were also 48,000 visitors over the weekend public days. Ng says that “we believe more visitors will come” this time.

There were 752 exhibitors from nearly 40 countries at the last show, says Ng, in addition to 148 official delegations from 47 countries. He says that this time there will be close to 800 exhibitors from 43 countries. “We are fully sold and have had to expand the hall space,” says Ng.

This year the organisers also expect delegation attendance “to be the largest in the show’s 25-year history”, with more than 270 military delegations invited. There will also be several new national pavilions this year.

A focus on unmanned air vehicles will meanwhile be expanded this year, with planned flying displays by two aircraft from Israel. The organisers also say this year’s show will have an extensive industry conferences component.

Conferences held on the sidelines of the air show will include the Asia Pacific Security Conference, C4I Asia Conference, IATA/Asian Aerospace Aviation Summit, Land Defence Asia Conference, Unmanned Systems Asia-Pacific Conference, Asia Pacific Airline Training Symposium, and Welcoming the A380.

Flight International will also be launching the Aviation Excellence Awards, at the famous Raffles Hotel on 22 February.

The flying display will also feature something different this year, as the ultra-large Airbus A380 will be taking to the skies. Large aircraft have not been seen at Asian Aerospace for years and the A380 will be flying in launch operator Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) colours. SIA is due to take delivery of the first A380 in November this year and one aircraft from the flight-test programme will be flying daily at Asian Aerospace. It will be the only commercial airliner in the flying display this year.

Also flying will be three of the military basic trainers – the Aermacchi M311A, Pilatus PC-21 and Raytheon T-6B – competing in Singapore for a training requirement. Singapore will be evaluating these aircraft, plus the Embraer Super Tucano.

Two multi-role fighters will also take to the air – the Boeing F-15C and Lockheed Martin F-16C – from the US Air Force. The two Israeli UAVs scheduled to be flying are the Hermes 450 and Heron 1.

The extensive static display of around 40 aircraft will include commercial airliners, business jets, helicopters and military fixed-wing aircraft, say the organisers.

With aviation booming in the region, the final Asian Aerospace to be held in Singapore should at least go out with a bang rather than a whimper.


Source: Flight International