Journalists at the recent Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, may have had trouble getting between venues, but at least they were allowed in. Many Farnborough hacks were not so lucky yesterday.

Despite having Ministry of Defence-approved photo press passes, journalists were brought almost to mutiny at Gate F when they were told they must also check in each day at a Portacabin and purchase £16 ($25) daily entrance tickets.

As the queue for tickets grew longer, journalists began talking about boycotting the show unless a better solution could be found. Eventually, SBAC officials arrived and gave the go-ahead for reporters to enter the show with just their press passes.



SBAC's David Dornman says it was a misunderstanding. "Any journalist who bought a ticket can bring the receipt to the press centre, with a business card, and we will send them a refund," he says.

But the trials and tribulations of the day were not over for the working newshounds attending the Boeing press conference in one of the Press Centre rooms.

With about 150 writers and photographers trying to press into a room built for a lot less, there was a sudden movement of the floor.



At the end of the press conference there was an urgent tone in the voice of the organisers as they asked everyone to leave. The reason was that the sharply subsiding floor had come away from the wall under the weight of the assembled journalists.

One journalist reflected ruefully on the fact that at Paris there are conference facilities for hundreds of people.

Boeing achieved two things, one of them no doubt unintentional. It announced huge new orders, and the floor drama meant the next press conference was cancelled.

It was to be held by Airbus Industrie ...




Source: Flight Daily News