2008 ILA Air Show Sets New Records

The International Aerospace Exhibition always provides the public with a rather impressive display of this sector of the industry. This year’s exhibition in Berlin was no different. Approximately 241 000 people streamed through the doors to see what amazing new innovations were on display. While that was only slightly less people than two years ago, it would seem that there was quite a big increase in the number of trade visitors this year.

The exhibition was set out on Germany’s largest temporary exhibition grounds – an area measuring some 250 000 square meters. The most outstanding record set for the exhibition, however, was the finalizing of contracts and business ventures worth over five billion euros. This startling number included an order placed with Airbus by Gulf Air, requesting that 35 aircraft be built for them. That order alone amounted to approximately 3.2 billion euros. The main focus of this year’s exhibition was the reduction of pollutant emissions by various aircraft. The trend of going ‘green’ was something that was embraced by a large number of aircraft companies, including Airbus, Boeing and Mitsubishi. More than one innovative and refreshing idea was on display, clearly showing a number of different ways that aircraft emissions can be greatly reduced. Much of the technology on display is already sufficiently developed for it to be used in mainstream aircraft production.

India made the most of the exhibition by making one of the largest appearances it has ever made at a trade show outside the country. It presented a wide range of capabilities and representatives actively sought out new business opportunities. In all, the exhibition lasted a total of six days with a record total of 1 127 exhibitors who proudly presented a wide variety of products, systems and processes. The exhibitors came from 37 different countries and the displays covered almost every facet of the aerospace industry. A whopping 331 different aircraft were on display – both on the ground and in the air – and many of these were making their first official public appearance. The hundreds of exhibitors present at the exhibition generally seemed to feel satisfied that they had managed to obtain their objectives. There was also an above-average response from members of the general public. The Air Show was a massive hit and many also enjoyed learning more about space travel and the latest development in helicopters. All in all it was a remarkable event that will be difficult to beat in future years.