With the Dubai 2007 organisers announcing record participation and targeting to dominance of the airshow scene within the next 20 years, Farnborough International, today’s world No 2 event, is here to fight its corner.
Farnborough International Ltd (W106) says the UK show is on course to break records when it celebrates its 60th anniversary next July. “Exhibition space is now almost completely sold out, with bookings at a level never before achieved at this stage in the show’s cycle,” says FIL exhibitions and events director Amanda Stainer. “Potential exhibitors need to book now to avoid disappointment.”
She adds: “Established exhibitors are planning major changes to their exhibition space or chalets, with many set to increase their presence and push the boundaries of aesthetic style, quality and presentation.”
FIL sees Dubai as an effective vehicle for the promotion of its own event. “The Dubai Airshow is important for meeting prospective exhibitors and renewing our excellent relationships with Middle East aerospace companies,” says Stainer. “Our sales team has lined up a series of high-level meetings here to finalise agreements with key exhibitors and potential sponsors.”
Exhibitors and visitors at Farnborough International 2008 will find that the site in southern England has been significantly improved since last year. A multi-million-pound upgrade programme is nearly complete - the permanent Farnborough International Venue and Events (FIVE) should open for business next month, and a new link road along the eastern edge of the site is due to be complete in January.
FIL’s existing site office is to be demolished early next year, opening up a prime new exhibition location, while a replacement office is expected to be in operation before the end of next month. The company says spending on site improvements will continue for the next five years.
The show’s 60th anniversary will be marked with a series of special activities.The public days (July 19 and 20) will feature themed activities in the halls, interactive outdoor areas and a flying display by 14 of the aircraft types that flew at the first Farnborough in 1948. The trade days (July 14-18) will focus on Farnborough’s pedigree as a showcase for the most advanced aerospace technologies of the past six decades. Exhibitors are being encouraged to continue the tradition by highlighting their latest innovations.
Aviation at Farnborough dates back to 1908, when pioneer Samuel Cody made the first sustained heavier-than-air flight on British soil from a field that is now part of the aerodrome. A replica of his Cody Flyer is under construction and will be on show in July.