The airline industry was hit by 11 September in the short term, but there is every reason for optimism in the long term, Dr Tony Tan, Singapore deputy prime minister and minister for defence, said at the official opening ceremony for Asian Aerospace 2002.

"Given the maturity and resilience of the (aviation industry) sector, there is reason to be confident about the longer-term prospects," he told an audience of exhibitors and VIPs.

The airline industry is already beginning to show gradual signs of improvement and the Asia-Pacific region, and the entry of China into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will give a further boost, he said.

Singapore is set for further growth in the aerospace industry, firstly through broadening and deepening its scope of repairs and overhauls. "We will strengthen our infrastructure including our financial and legal infrastructure to encourage aircraft leasing and consultancy services, and our airport infrastructure to cater for increasing passenger and cargo demands," Dr Tan said.

He added: "Singapore is well-positioned to be a strategic partner and a compelling hub for companies' expansion in Asia. We are a gateway to Asia, equipped with vital ingredients such as world-class infrastructure, excellent connectivity, a skilled workforce, strong technology base and a critical mass of aerospace activities."

Earlier, Mike Rusbridge, chairman of show organiser Reed Exhibitions, applauded the attendance of so many delegates to the 2002 event.


"We face a rather different future," he said. "Not necessarily a less bright one, but one tinged with a heavy dose of reality brought on by events. Your support (for the show) sends out the strongest message that there is plenty of resilience and resolution in this great industry to weather any storm."

The opening ceremony and dinner featured the Pipes and Drums Band of the 1st Battalion Gurkha Rifles, attending the show in support of the British presence. Dance and music came from the Asead troupe.

Source: Flight Daily News