31 aircraft register for flying display at aero

The controversial Rafale and indigenous Tejas aircraft are likely to be the eye-catchers at the biannual Aero India 2019, to be held in the city between February 20 and 24. Speaking to reporters ahead of the 12th edition of the carnival, Air Commondore Ravuri Sheetal, air officer (commanding) at Yelahanka Air Force Station (AFS), said preparations are on in full swing at the air base in Yelahanka. While Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will be this year’s event manager, Dassault’s Rafale war jets will be the main attraction at the show. Apart from HAL’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and French aerospace major Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), multi-role fighter jet Sukhoi Su-30MKI, National Aeronautics Laboratories’ (NAL) Saras PT1N are among the aircraft that will be flying. Air Cmd Sheetal said aerial display will be held at Yelahanka AFS from 10am to noon and 2pm to 5pm. “So far, 31 aircraft have registered for flying display and another 22 for static display. We expect more to join in the coming days,” he said. Some 360 exhibitors — 196 from India and 164 from abroad — have registered so far to showcase their products in the aerospace and defence sectors. The event is likely to be flagged off by Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi, but there is no confirmation as yet. This year’s show will see theme-based events like drone olympics (drone competitions), women’s day, startup day, photography contest and students’ pavilion. The fourth day — February 23 — will be observed as women’s day with flying display by women crew, including pilots and paratroopers. Indian-born American astronaut Sunita Williams is expected to arrive on that day to share her experience and felicitate women achievers in the aerospace sector. Technology day will be observed on February 22 where students who are involved in the aerospace sector — both civil and defence — will showcase their projects. Startup day, on February 21, aims to tap the country’s entrepreneurial talent pool. Global aerospace majors, including Boeing (US), Lockheed Martin Corp (US), Russian Aircraft Corp MiG (Russia), Saab (Sweden), Dassault Aviation (France) and European aerospace firm Airbus, will be among the exhibitors. In 2017, the aero show saw 5.4 lakh visitors and some 7 lakh are expected this time. “We have decided to provide more facilities, including additional food stalls/toilets, enhanced security arrangements, parking managements and garbage clearance, compared to previous years,” said Air Cmd Sheetal. There will be more food courts at the air display viewing area and exhibition centre. Ticket for business visitors to the exhibition area on February 20, 21 and 22 is Rs 2,750 each; for general visitors on February 23-24 is Rs 1,800 and Rs 600 for air display


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