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Farnborough air show axing public weekend from 2020

Organisers of the UK’s Farnborough air show are axing the public weekend display, reducing the event from a seven-day to a five-day programme concentrating on the trade aspect.

The show – held every two years, alternating with the Paris air show – has normally capped off its five-day trade and industry focus with two days of flying displays which are open to the public.

But organiser Farnborough International says it will be “removing” the weekend public days from the 2020 show, in favour of allowing public access to the final trade day.

The public days have attracted recent criticism from enthusiasts, not least because many of the new aircraft displayed and demonstrated during the trade days depart from the show before the weekend event.

On some occasions the flying display has been left sparse, with aircraft having to be sent up twice to help fill out the event.

The industry has also been dealing with the fallout from the fatal accident at the Shoreham air show in 2015.

Farnborough International says it wants to redirect its strategy and focus on highlighting new technology and manufacturing by allowing public access to its exhibition halls.

While chief executive Gareth Rogers says the axing of the weekend show will “disappoint”, he believes the change will help exhibitors and trade visitors to access valuable talent.

“Allowing the public to see more of the people, products and processes that underpin the global aerospace, defence and space industries will help engage and inspire a new generation,” he adds.

The organiser believes the show can attract young people and encourage them to consider careers in these sectors.

Farnborough International adds that there will be a flight display on each of the five days of the 2020 show.

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