plane taking off

View from India: Aero India commences next week

Image credit: Dreamstime

Aero India 2023, the biennial air show and aviation exhibition, will be held from 13-17 February. Hailed as Asia’s largest air show, the Aero India show is organised by the Defence Ministry.

The Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bengaluru, which has hosted the Aero India show since 1996, continues to be the venue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the event. This is the 14th edition of Aero India, globally recognised as a premier aerospace event. As per the Aero India website, a total of 731 exhibitors have registered so far. Of these, 633 are Indian exhibitors. A lot is expected from Aero India, with its theme 'The runway to a billion opportunities'.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has informed the media that he has appealed to foreign diplomats for collaboration with India’s military manufacturing capabilities during the event. The thrust areas could be on drones, as well as focusing on cyber technologies and radars. The event is expected to be a blend of a major trade exhibition of the Aerospace and Defence industries and include spectacular aerial displays by the Indian Air Force and other global participants. “This is going to be the biggest air show with the highest participation. There will be a large number of participation from delegates, aerospace and defence industry leaders, also companies,” said Basavaraj Bommai, the chief minister of Karnataka, ahead of the event.

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the administrative body responsible for civic amenities and some infrastructural assets of the Greater Bengaluru metropolitan area, has passed an order to prohibit the sale of non-vegetarian food within 10km of the Yelahanka Air Force Station from 30 January to 20 February. This is due to the fact that non-vegetarian food tends to attract scavenger birds, especially kites, which can affect the movement of aircrafts during the aero show. Aircrafts that are participating in the Aero India show are expected to arrive from 8 February. Between 8 and 17 February, regular commercial flight operations at the Kempegowda International Airport will alter as the Yelahanka Air Base is close to the airport.

In 2021, the Aero India show was held over just three days due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Still, the hybrid event attracted delegates from over 55 countries and saw the presence of more than 540 exhibitors. Being an aviation event with global participants, the 2021 event possibly led to over 201 new business partnerships through memorandums of understanding, agreements and collaborations.  

This year’s five-day show is almost ready to take off. A large turnout is expected. The platform is poised to encourage many more collaborations, investments, exchange of ideas and initiatives to boost the Make in India vision. Event coverage will follow.

Prime Minister Modi was in Bengaluru to inaugurate the India Energy Week on 6 February. As part of his agenda, the PM also inaugurated the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited's helicopter manufacturing unit in Tumakuru, Karnataka, and also unveiled the light utility helicopter. The helicopter manufacturing unit, which is the largest of its kind in the country, has been visualised to be a one-stop solution for all of the country's helicopter requirements. The Greenfield helicopter factory intends to produce more than 1,000 helicopters in the range of 3-15 tonnes; this could generate employment to around 6,000 people. Investment in the aerospace sector has been four to five times more than in the 15-year period prior to 2014. Tumakuru is a two-hour drive from Bengaluru, the capital city of Karnataka, hence the aerospace manufacturing ecosystem may be strengthened, besides opening up skill infrastructure development.

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