Singapore Airshow already 95% booked by exhibitors
By Channel NewsAsia's Satish Cheney in France | Posted: 21 June 2009 1634 hrs
LE BOURGET, France: With the week-long Paris Air Show ending on Sunday, all eyes will be on next year's Singapore Airshow.
Not only will it indicate if the struggling aviation industry is straightening itself out of an economic tailspin, it will also reflect the growing potential of the sector in the region.
The who's who of the aviation world attended the Paris Air Show.
While the mood may have been dampened by the economic turbulence and the recent Air
France crash, a record 2,000 exhibitors from 48 countries took part in the event.
There are so many aircraft on display at the Paris Air Show that it will take more than a day just to see them all. And at next year's Singapore Airshow, organisers are trying to beef up the number of static displays as well.
And as a bonus, they are trying to get a special aeroplane which will simulate the experience of space travel. Meet the Airbus A300 Zero G (zero gravity). If things go as planned, visitors may just get inside and see what it feels like to be weightless.
And that is not all.
There are also plans to bring in the much-talked about Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The Dreamliner is one of the most high-tech commercial planes to be manufactured. It was supposed to have been in service from May 2008, but has been facing production delays. During the Paris Air Show, Boeing said the test flight for the Dreamliner will take place at the end of June.
And when it comes to aerial displays, organisers also plan to bring world-class aerobatics, though details have yet to be confirmed.
The Singapore Airshow is also doing well on the exhibitor front.
Before the Paris Air Show, it was 90 per cent booked. Now, it is 95 per cent booked.
Next year's event will also launch the first-ever business forums during trade days. The business forums will give information on doing business in Southeast Asia and India, China as well as Australia.
In July, the organisers will be inviting government officials from the region for their show next year. This is two months ahead of their usual timeframe - to ensure an increase in the number of foreign delegates.
Going forward, there are plans to include a third hall at the exhibition site in Changi, and perhaps even a 500-seater auditorium.
The Paris Air Show has also provided Singapore organisers with some tips.
Jimmy Lau, managing director, Singapore Airshow & Events, said: "One thing we are studying closely is the management of international delegations, military delegations into the show, and how they go about arranging for meetings amongst the exhibitors and bilateral meetings as well."
Mr Lau expects the cost of running the Singapore Airshow to go up by 10 per cent, from the S$20 million spent at the last show.
The main reason for the increase is due to setting up measures to guard against the Influenza A (H1N1) virus.
The Singapore Airshow will take place at the Changi Exhibition Centre from February 2 to February 7 next year. - CNA/ms