New faces at the Society of British Aerospace Companies - director general David Marshall (right) and Keith Hayward, head of research. Marshall, who is at the show, says he is delighted that the new British government has awarded the SBAC a £1.5million grant under its Competitive Challenge programme. "They gave us what we asked for and it's a good sign for the future," he says.

Europe may have just one major international air show in the long term - and it will be the Americans who decide whether it is Paris or Farnborough, says Mike Turner, president of the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC).

The SBAC is switching its 2000 show from the traditional September date to July - and linking it to the International Air Tattoo (IAT) at Fairford.

"Americans always make the point that there are too many air shows," says Turner. "If we are successful in getting Europe together, somebody will decide to have one air show.

"As to who wins, I suspect the Americans will decide."

The switch to July was prompted by "customer demand" and it will be tied to the IAT, enabling military delegations to attend both.

Turner also warns that without government develop-ment support the British aerospace industry, which now supports 100,000 skilled people, could shrink to just 60,000.

The SBAC is looking for £40million each from the industry and the government this year, rising to £100million each a year within five years.

The plan favoured by the industry is that the money should come half and half from the defence and trade ministries.

Discussions have started with the new British government and the SBAC has had an "...encouraging start".

Source: Flight Daily News