Paul Derby

All the sights and sounds of Dubai '97 will be captured on the small screen as the show's own television station beams out live pictures for the first time.

Dubai International Television (DITV) is on air every day throughout the show, broad-casting eight hours of live commentary and debate about who is making the headlines here this week.

The launch of DITV is a technological leap forward for the show and follows the success of similar live broadcasts last September at Farnborough.

Almost 100 television screens strategically placed in the halls and chalets will deliver up-to-the-minute news.

The huge screen in the Hall C restaurant will also be employed to give people a means of seeing events such as the flying display.

Bringing this ambitious project to life is the job of British-based Aviation Television and Communications, working in association with Flight International. DITV has a team of seven journalists and four cameramen at the show.

The team's preparations have been painstakingly precise and began months ago.

Anchoring the coverage from a studio overlooking the airfield is the BBC's Rob Curling who will be interviewing high-fliers from the aerospace industry during the week. Each day's flying display will be given two hours of dedicated coverage with the experienced voice of airshow commentator John Blake adding colour to the pictures. Regular bulletins of international news will also feature strongly in the schedule.

The nerve centre of the operation is located on the upper floor of the Press Centre where a myriad television screens form part of the production gallery.

A separate editing suite which harnesses the latest computerised technology is also a crucial part of the operation.

Expert analysis during the broadcasts will be provided by Flight International's US editor Graham Warwick and operations/safety editor David Learmount, with editor-in-chief Allan Winn.

Producer Graeme Bowd says the project is an exciting prospect for Dubai: "We'll be doing something like 40 hours of live television with broadcasts starting each morning at 8.30.

"The experience we had at Farnborough showed us that this was a popular venture and we're sure it will go down well here.

"It's been a massive task preparing for the show.

"There's so much kit we need to carry around. We've had to bring 10 tonnes of equipment with us to Dubai. We're not like the BBC with a huge outside broad-cast team - we're a relatively small operation."





Source: Flight Daily News