Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate Aero India 2019, which will feature a ‘startup day’ involving a ‘drone olympics’, besides Indian American astronaut Sunita Williams participating in the major aerospace event, government officials said.
Aero India which will be held in Bengaluru from February 20 to 24 next year will for the first time have a civil aviation exhibition subsumed into the show that has mainly been defence only so far. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate the event,” said Col Aman Anand, defence ministry spokesperson. He explained that the show which is held once in every two years has a few themes such as the ‘Startup day’ being held on the second day of the event.
The startup day will have the drone olympics as a main feature. “The women’s day will be held on the fourth day in which Sunita Williams will attend. It will also witness participation of more women achievers in the aviation field, said Anand. While February 20 will be the show’s inauguration involving a global CEOs roundtable, the next day will have trade and business seminars and the last two days will be open for the public. On all days of the event, two aero shows will be held. The tagline for Aero India 2019 is “The Runway to a Billion Opportunities”, aimed at communicating the opportunities in the aerospace sector in India. “The tagline underlines India’s status as an emerging hub for global aerospace industry and draw attention to the investment opportunities under Make in India,” said an official. Even the logo for the event is inspired by the indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
The LCA is the smallest and lightest multi-role fighter, developed to meet the requirements of the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy. Officials explained that fresh changes has been due to a different approach taken by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the ministry’s department of defence production So far, 158 Indian exhibitors and 106 foreign ones, including from Russia, UK, US and Israel, are participating in the show. Some of the major aerospace companies to participate are Boeing, Dassault Aviation, Airbus, Thales, Saab, Sukhoi and MBDA. In the previous Aero India held in 2017, 213 foreign companies and 234 domestic ones took part. About 500 official delegates from 46 countries had also participated