Zhuhai Airshow

Zhuhai air show 'bigger and better'

Organisers boast of attracting 650 booths from mainland and foreign aeronautical interests, and will feature the Chinese-made C919 plane

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 November, 2012, 4:24am


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The biennial air show which opens in Zhuhai next week promises to be bigger and better this year as it becomes more recognised by international aviation and aerospace manufacturers, say organisers.

The management company responsible for staging the ninth China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition said it had to build an extra hall to accommodate the 650 booths from 39 nations, including 400 from the mainland and 250 from international exhibitors.

"We had to close for entries last month as we did not have any space for more," said Yang Xiangang, vice-general manager of Zhuhai Airshow. "It will be a happy problem for the next show."

China, which is projected to need 5,400 new passenger planes from now to 2031, is one of the most vibrant aviation markets in the world.

It is also seeking to make its own 150-seater, the C919, which has created a cluster effect for suppliers and has attracted international aviation manufacturers to the show.

The first two days of the show, which will be held from November 13 to 18, will overlap with the staging of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party. The timing will mean some senior political figures will not be at the opening of the show, or may even miss it entirely.

Some foreign exhibitors have worried that this could affect the importance of the event.

"It's true that during the congress, senior officials are prohibited to travel," Yang said. "But foreign exhibitors should be more concerned about signing deals rather than meeting senior officials."

The heads of the mainland airlines, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, and the two aircraft manufacturers on the mainland, would still be able to attend the show, Yang said.

US-based UTC Aerospace Systems, a system integrator for aircraft, and Bell Helicopter will make a comeback at the show while Eaton Corp, which is a mechanics solution company, will make its first appearance.

China South Industries Group, one of the two national defence technology companies on the mainland, will make its debut at the show.

During the 60 round-table discussions, conferences, and signing ceremonies, some aircraft deals are sure to be worked out, Yang said, including deals for the home-grown C919.

The show will also feature several aerobatics teams from Europe. The Breitling Jet team, which consists of the largest aerobatics team preforming in jet planes, will make its debut presence.

The first four days of the exhibition will be reserved for the industry, while the last two days will be open to the public. Yang forecast up to 400,000 visitors could attend this year's show.