The air transport industry’s center of gravity is shifting to Asia and Singapore’s aerospace industry is poised to reap the benefit, the country’s prime minister said here yesterday before officially opening the show.
Aviation in Singapore
Opening-day visitors to the inaugural Singapore Airshow will find a brand-new site fit for the newly revamped event. Even the land it sits on is new, reclaimed over the last 10 years from the waters of the Singapore Strait. And best of all, if things go according to plan, access should prove pretty much painless.
Streaking across the Changi skies in their sleek red-and-white F-16s, the Black Knights symbolize Singapore’s determination to boost this revamped, go-it-alone airshow. The team has re-formed for the first time since 2000. Be sure to catch their performance here this week, for it may not be repeated elsewhere.
Singapore concluded bilateral “Open Skies” agreements (OSAs) with Denmark, Sweden and Norway late last month. The new deals will allow Singaporean air carriers to fly between Singapore and any destination in Scandinavia, via and beyond to any third country without any restrictions in terms of passenger capacity, service frequency or aircraft type. In return, Scandinavian airlines now enjoy the same rights into and through Singapore.
In just over three months, on February 19, the renamed Singapore Airshow will open at a brand new purpose-built site, with a new dress code for professional visitors and a new organization behind the scenes.
Visitors to next February’s Singapore Airshow–35,000 professionals is the organizers’ target–will find a spanking new show site and a relaxed atmosphere to help them focus more keenly than ever on the booming business of aerospace.
The expanding business aircraft market in the Asia Pacific region will be one of the key issues that will be debated at the Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress, which will be staged for the first time at AsiaWorld-Expo in Hong Kong from September 3 to 6.
The warm breeze drifting across Singapore Seletar Airport brings a welcome respite from the midday heat in this island nation near the earth’s equator. At Jet Aviation Singapore, v-p and general manager Geoffrey Hopkins is anticipating a breeze of a different kind–a wind of economic recovery brought on by growing prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
Business aviation is expected to feature prominently in the new-format Asian Aerospace, to be held for the first time in Hong Kong from September 3 through 6. Among the industry players that have committed to the event so far are Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Pilatus and Sikorsky, as well as service providers Jet Aviation and Lufthansa Technik.
The February 2006 Asian Aerospace show at Singapore’s Changi Airport will be the last event in its current format, following a sudden split between the Singapore government and show organizer Reed Exhibitions. Singapore authorities have decided to run their own biennial air show starting February 2008. UK-based Reed is now considering alternative venues outside Singapore to stage future Asian Aerospace events.