Annabel Wells/LONDON

As the aerospace industry worldwide enjoys an upturn, so is that trend reflected in the aerospace-events arena. Exhibitors at 1998 trade shows will have a satisfyingly large choice of shopfronts in which to set up their wares. Potential customers will be presented with a hugely varied array from which to select their purchases.

From the USA, Boeing - its portfolio bolstered by the McDonnell Douglas acquisition - will be pitching its civil products against those of Europe's Airbus Industrie consortium. It will also turn its attention to the military market, in both the rotary- and fixed-wing areas.

Bookings are up across the board, including those for events which cover areas such as maintenance and airport equipment. The growing market for inflight-entertainment systems will be served by the World Airline Entertainment Association's exhibition in October, in South Africa, and the Inflight Passenger Entertainment and Communications event, IPEC '98, which will be held in London, UK, in April.

As well as the trade shows, aviation organisations will be holding their annual conventions, and other events. The European Regions Airline Association , for example, expects about 500 delegates from across the industry to attend its General Assembly in September.

A slight shadow may be cast by the currency crisis in Asia - particularly over the business- and light-aviation aircraft manufacturers, where the market has great potential - but this should prove to be a mere hiccup, leaving longer-term prospects looking good.


In the USA, the Helicopter Association International will celebrate its 50th anniversary at its Heli-Expo in February. It reports reservations up, with new international exhibitors.

In April, the US National Air Transportation Association and Professional Aviation Maintenance Association will hold their convention and symposium, respectively, under the auspices of the new Aviation Services & Suppliers Super Show, which covers maintenance for light and business aircraft. Among those to reserve space are Bombardier, Cessna and Socata.

The US National Business Aircraft Association will be looking to build on the success of this year's 50th anniversary show, and will start taking bookings in January for its 1998 event.

In Canada, the Toronto Aviation and Aircraft Show will stage its sixth appearance, while the Canadian Business Aviation Association will hold its 37th annual convention in June.


The mood is buoyant, despite the currency crisis, with interest in bookings sustained. At the Asian Aerospace 98 show in February, the UK contingent will be the biggest yet - it has had to hire another hall to accommodate its expansion. Engine-manufacturer presence in particular is stronger. Asian Aerospace will also host the Flight International Industry Awards, the fifth outing for these sought-after prizes.

Defence manufacturers will be out in force, with Russia expected to bring the Sukhoi Su-35 and Su-37 and, possibly, the S-37 to Asian Aerospace. The Eurocopter Tiger helicopter will make an appearance, before touring in Australia.

As most show revenues are derived from overseas, aerospace events in this area should be largely unaffected by the currency downturn. Western manufacturers view Asia Pacific as important, and interest from the USA and the UK in Airport China '98, for example, is encouraging. This show is held jointly by Reed Exhibitions with the Civil Aviation Authority of China, and is backed by the UK Department of Trade and Industry.


The Society of British Aerospace Companies will stage its biennial Farnborough International in the UK in September. Flight International will run live closed-circuit television services at the show, as it will at Asian Aerospace 98. Broadcasts will include news, features and live flying-display coverage.

The Brussels-based European Business Aviation Association says that it is expecting increased numbers at this year's convention, to be held in April. In particular, it anticipates more operators and has arranged an improved exhibition area, along with staging technical and operators' sessions.

In the UK, the Royal Aeronautical Society organises events on varying topics throughout the year; the Civil Aviation Authority Safety Regulation Group will sponsor some 70 aviation-safety research projects, and will hold an open day on 11 February, in London; while Flight International and Reed Aerospace sister magazine Airline Business organise events with a variety of themes during the year (see "Other events organisers" panel).o

All details in the Flight International 1998 Aerospace Calendar are correct as at 10 November, 1997. Before committing to an event, it is advisable to check with the organiser.

Source: Flight International