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Forecasts 2006: Airshows - Changes to the world's big aerospace exhibitions

February’s Asian Aerospace will be the last to be held in Singapore after joint organisers Reed Exhibitions and the Singapore government opted to go their separate ways. Instead, from 2008, both organisations are promising their own air shows in the region, with the island state continuing with an event at Changi International airport and Reed Exhibitions (Flight International’s sister company) hunting for another city to host Asian Aerospace.

The final Singapore Asian Aerospace, however, is likely to go out with a flourish. On display will be an Airbus A380 in the colours of launch operator Singapore Airlines, with Airbus and Boeing both pitching hard to win a series of widebody contests at the carrier. Four manufacturers, Aermacchi, Embraer, Pilatus and Raytheon, will also use Asian Aerospace to showcase their respective M311, Super Tucano, PC-21 and T-6B, competing for the air force’s primary trainer requirement.

The year’s other big all-sector air show is Farnborough in July. As with Asian Aerospace, Farnborough’s organisers have been taking a close look at the future of the event, but, unlike their East Asian counterparts, have rejected a radical overhaul. The show is likely to remain at its Hampshire home for some years to come, although this year’s will benefit from a number of changes, including fewer trade days and a Friday focusing on youth in aerospace.

With business aviation booming, this year’s National Business Aviation Association convention in Orlando could be the biggest yet, with the new breed of very light jets such as the Eclipse 500 and Cessna Mustang likely to be making the news again as customers begin to take deliveries. Its European equivalent,May’s EBACE in Geneva, continues to grow as relatively new offshoots in Brazil and Asia, LABACE and ABACE, slowly find their feet.

Other biennial regional shows this year include ILA in Berlin in May, which has been trying to position itself as a shop window for the new aerospace industries of central Europe; South Africa’s Africa Aerospace in September; and the Zhuhai air show in China in October.

MURDO MORRISON/EDITOR

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