From record-breaking announcements to unveiling of new aircraft the Dubai Airshow 2019 will continue to provide the perfect platform for the global aerospace industry and a glimpse into the sector’s future
Come November, the Dubai sky will be filled with aircraft of different hues and sizes, even as the roaring sound of the planes exhilarates Dubai Airshow visitors.
Dubai Airshow 2019 is expected to be bigger than ever as it returns to DWC, Dubai Airshow site with about 1,300 exhibitors and attracting up to 87,000 aerospace professionals across its five-day run from November 17 to 21.
The Middle East has been the rising star of the aerospace industry over the last two decades bolstered by a natural strategic location and concerted efforts from operators and governments to foster the market. Growth in the region is fuelled by passenger numbers and a clear eastward movement of the global centre of activity.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecast the Middle East will see an extra 290 million air passengers on routes to, from and within the region by 2037.
IATA estimates by 2037, the Middle East market will reach 501 million passengers achieved by a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4.4 per cent. Airbus predicted in its recent forecast that by 2023 that both UAE-based hubs – Dubai and Abu Dhabi - will be in the top 15 Mega Aviation Cities, with Dubai taking the top position.
The Dubai Airshow is the ideal location for the industry to take advantage of the associated growth opportunities, say organisers.
Dubai Airshow 2019 will have an increased focus on sector-specific conferences and pavilions, reflecting the growing industry areas such as Smart Manufacturing, Space, Cargo Connect, Airport Solutions Dubai and Global Air Traffic Management (GATM). Each will include a conference and a dedicated pavilion on the show floor.
“It is clear that the aerospace industry in the Middle East is on the cusp of incredible growth,” says Michele van Akelijen, Managing Director of show organisers Tarsus F&E LLC Middle East in an exclusive interview with Arabian Knight. “The show really is the platform for the industry in the region and beyond, and anyone with any interest in aerospace should be there in November.
“Dubai is geographically at the centre of the global aviation world, and Dubai Airshow is where the sector comes to do business. We have seen incredible, unmatched deals, innovations and ideas,” she says.
Trade visitors to the previous Dubai Airshow in 2017 were up around 20 per cent on the 2015 event, with some 79,380 people entering the purpose-built hall at DWC, Dubai during its five-day run. At the end of the show’s final day, the order book stood at almost $113.8 billion.
“When you compare these to the first Dubai Airshow in 1989, you get a real sense of the show’s growth – it’s 92 times the footprint – exhibitors have increased 550 per cent and aircraft on the static display 560 per cent. Incredibly, trade visitors have grown by almost 800 per cent – a demonstration of the draw of the aerospace industry in the region,” continues Van Akelijen.
Excerpts from the interview:
Dubai Airshow is one of the biggest globally; how has the journey been so far?
The Dubai Airshow has grown every edition across its 30-year history to reflect the innovations and opportunities in the aerospace industry, in the Middle East and globally. It’s been an exciting journey and an honour to be part of the aerospace history – from record-breaking announcements to the addition of new sectors and features such as space. Dubai Airshow 2019 will continue to provide a platform for the aerospace industry and a glimpse into its future.
What can visitors expect from the show this year? How will it be different from the last?
Trade visitors to the Dubai Airshow can expect to see the entire aerospace industry represented at the Dubai Airshow 2019, to have the opportunity to interact with their suppliers, learn more about their offerings and place orders, in addition to growing their networks. Of course, they can also see up to 165 of the latest aircraft on the static display and a large number in the flying display. The flying display is the perfect opportunity for aircraft manufacturers of both civil and military companies to demonstrate their skills and capabilities to industry leaders, suppliers and potential customers. Anyone who is anyone in aerospace should be there from November 17 to 21.
What are some of the key areas of the aviation sector that will be represented at the show?
The Dubai Airshow truly represents the whole aerospace industry from OEMs, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), engineering, engine manufacturing, business aviation and defence to name a few. In addition, sectors such as cargo, air traffic control and space will be present in feature pavilions and conferences taking place during the Dubai Airshow 2019. The show really is the platform for the industry in the region and beyond, and anyone with any interest in aerospace should be there in November.
Who are the major exhibitors and what will they bring to the show?
With 1,300 exhibitors at the Dubai Airshow 2019 it’s not easy to pick out some as ‘major’. However, the biggest names in the global aerospace industry will be there including Rolls Royce, Boeing, Emirates, Airbus and Gulfstream plus military representation including Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and of course, the UAE Armed Forces. All of the exhibitors at the Dubai Airshow bring something towards creating the event – whether it is aerobatic displays, aircraft for the static display, fully assembled engines, maintenance equipment or game-changing cockpit technology. I look forward to seeing the exhibition hall and static display when the show opens on November 17.
How many aircraft are expected at the static display?
We expect up to 165 aircraft in the static display and a good number in the flying display each afternoon. Historically, we have seen exhibitors bringing some game-changers and we are sure that will continue at the 2019 Dubai Airshow.
What are some of the major challenges in organising a show of this magnitude? How are you coping with them?
Any large event presents challenges especially when you consider the scale of the Dubai Airshow – 1,300 exhibitors fitting into the exhibition hall and chalet line can be challenging in itself, as well as coordinating the aircraft for the static and flying displays. The purpose-built DWC Dubai Airshow is ideal for providing the best canvas to create the event every two years. We also have a fantastic team and partners in Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Airports and the UAE Armed Forces and we’re fortunate to be able to work with them to bring the Dubai Airshow to fruition as the platform for the aerospace industry.
Are there country pavilions? Delegations from which countries are expected?
The country pavilions at the Dubai Airshow are a popular feature with both exhibitors and visitors – and often enable smaller exhibitors to be present, adding another dimension to the show and bringing some wonderfully innovative companies. Some of the country pavilions already confirmed for the Dubai Airshow 2019 are the USA, the UK, France, Germany and Russia. The full list can be seen on the floorplan on the Dubai Airshow website dubaiairshow.aero.
The Delegations Programme saw 279 delegations from 76 countries in 2017 and the number is expected to increase for the Dubai Airshow 2019.
Kindly provide details of some of the highlights at the show apart from the aircraft displays
Some of the highlights of the Dubai Airshow can be found inside the hall itself, including the new feature areas focusing on space, cargo and air traffic control and also many of the demonstrations on the exhibitors stands.
Please provide details of seminars and conferences at the show.
The Dubai Airshow prides itself on responding to developments in the aerospace industry and the addition of new conferences and features are an integral part of this as the show continues to reflect innovations and opportunities.
Each conference will address specific sector technologies: Cargo Connect will showcase international developments in next-generation freight, automation and digital cargo and Global Air Traffic Management (GATM) will bring together the air traffic control ecosystem to network, learn and discuss innovative solutions accelerating the industry. The Space Pavilion and Tech Talks themed around Space 4.0: The New Era produced in collaboration with the UAE Space Agency, will host leaders at the forefront of the tech sector as they unveil advancements in rocket technology, space debris, cubesat quality improvement, satellite communication and cyber security.
Delegates at each conference will be able to learn from market leaders and have the opportunity to network with industry leaders in addition to having access to the full five days of the Dubai Airshow.
Please provide statistics related to the last show and how do they compare with the expectations this year (Exhibitor and visitor numbers, space, the static displays, deals signed/expected, etc)?
There were 1,200 exhibitors from 61 countries at the Dubai Airshow 2017. This year, we are expecting an increase of 8 per cent to 1,300 exhibitors and an increase of over 10 per cent on the 79,380 trade visitors across the five days. Up to 165 aircraft are expected on the static display.
When you compare these to the first Dubai Airshow in 1989, you get a real sense of the show’s growth – it’s 92 times the footprint – exhibitors have increased 550 per cent and aircraft on the static display 560 per cent. Incredibly, trade visitors have grown by almost 800 per cent – a demonstration of the draw of the aerospace industry in the region.
Regionally, almost all countries have their own airshows. How does this impact on the participation and quality of the show? Is it competition or cooperation with others?
It’s a testament to the aerospace industry in the region that there are these air shows. The Middle East has been the rising star of the aerospace industry over the last two decades bolstered by a natural strategic location and concerted efforts from operators and governments to foster the market. Growth in the region is fuelled by passenger numbers and a clear eastward movement of the global centre of activity. IATA estimates by 2037, the Middle East market will reach 501 million passengers achieved by a CAGR of 4.4 per cent. Looking at these statistics, it’s easy to understand the recent growth in air shows in the region – Dubai Airshow has been a part of it for 30 years and we look forward to the insights into the future of the industry at the event in November.
What is the representation of business aviation at the show and how important is this segment for the region?
Business aviation continues to play an increasingly important role within the Middle East region, helping to sustain current economic activity and drive new developments within the market and is always highly represented at Dubai Airshow. We expect to see a significant appearance from the sector in both the exhibition hall, chalets and on the static display. Some of the business aviation exhibitors at the Dubai Airshow 2019 include Boeing Business Jets, Gulfstream, Dassault and Airbus Corporate Jets.
Focus on Business Aviation
Business aviation will be a significant part of the Dubai Airshow 2019 with major players in the sector showcasing their new wares and services targeting the discerning regional customers.
Business aircraft movements in the region are predicted to reach 175,000 by 2020. The prediction, made at the MEBAA Conference Dubai last December, underlines the industry’s growth in the region, and is reinforced by key players in business aviation demonstrating their commitment to the Middle East’s leading aerospace event.
In addition, the UAE is expecting an increase in private jet landings next year as a result of Expo 2020, leading to increased opportunities for the industry.
Key business aviation OEMs will be represented at the show, including Boeing Business Jets, Gulfstream, Dassault Aviation, Airbus Corporate Jets, Textron and Pilatus. They will be joined at the show for the first time by Citadel Completions.
Exhibitors at the event represent the whole business aviation supply chain, from OEMs to interiors, completions specialists to FBOs including Jet Aviation and DC Aviation, private airports such as Al Bateen Executive Airport; and gourmet catering firms, providing an ideal platform for those in the industry to network and forge relationships to take advantage of the opportunities offered.
The Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) will host the International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH) and International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BOA) workshops within the show itself.
– By Sree Bhat
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