Flight International's calendar of 1996 aerospace events and exhibitions.

Compiled by Kate Sarsfield/LONDON

IF THE 1996 Flight International trade-show calendar mirrors the state of the aviation market, it would be easy to conclude that the world recession in aerospace is finally over. With over 60 major trade shows listed in the calender, not to mention the cornucopia of unlisted, specialist, shows and conferences throughout the year, there appears to have been a sea change in the industry.

Over the years, many regional shows have sprung up, and are competing for a slice of the lucrative trade-show market. Furthermore, exhibitors appear to be considering alternatives to the well-established and internationally renowned exhibitions, such as Asian Aerospace, Paris and Farnborough International. The smaller specialist shows coming into favour include including Heli-Expo, Moscow Aero Engine and the World Airline Entertainment show.

Although the USA continues to dominate the trade-show arena, other countries are beginning to market themselves as attractive and strategically important venues to host aerospace events. Note-worthy are the prosperous Middle East and Asian nations which, because of their economic omnipotence, have begun to embrace the scene.

Between them, Indonesia and Malaysia are to play host to more than four exhibitions in 1996, with Indonesian Air Show '96 offering, according to the organisers, a "...first-hand look into Asia's military- and commercial-aviation industry".

Singapore will host its biennial Asian Aerospace Show in 1996, at Changhi Airport. The event has become the most important aerospace event in the Asia-Pacific, with organiser Reed Exhibitions claiming that it offers "the world's biggest regional gathering". The February event, for which Flight International is official journal has so far received bookings from 935 exhibitors and is expected to attract about 25,000 trade visitors.

Later in the year, Farnborough International will throw open its doors (2-8 September), the Society of British Aerospace Companies describing it as "the world's most international show". The numbers of exhibitors and visitors at the seven-day event, however, are not expected to exceed 1994 levels, which stood at 1,055 and 220,000 respectively.

The air-traffic-control (ATC) industry is hosting shows and conferences throughout the year. James Banks, vice-president of international affairs with the US-based Air Traffic Control Association, says: "The gradual harmonisation of air-traffic control around the globe has led to a demand for new technology, and this appears to be what most shows are about." Banks believes that most of the ATC shows around the world are not addressing the real issues of the countries concerned and, like other observers of the trade-show market in general, thinks that "...they [the organisers] are smelling money and are in the business just for that".

Whether or not some of the trade-show organisers do view the market primarily as a licence to print money, the aviation industry must be fuelling the demand for the events to take place.

Source: Flight International