Berlin air show girds for record turnout



Berlin air show girds for record turnout

Deutsche Press-Agentur (dpa)
Berlin (dpa) - The International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (ILA) in Berlin this year will see a record participation of some 850 exhibitors from 35 countries, show organisers said Tuesday.

The June 6-12 ILA - the fifth to be held in Berlin on the alternating two-year basis after the show was moved from Hanover in 1992 - will see the first-time participation of South Africa, Ireland, Uzbekistand and Brazil.

The ILA organisers - the Berliner Messe fair company and the German Aviation and Aerospace Federation BDLI - said that around 300 different aircraft will be on view, both on the ground and in air demonstrations.

BDLI managing director Hans Eberhard Birke said the figures point to the ILA, at Berlin-Schoenefeld airport, now being the world's largest in terms of quantity and quality of aircraft being exhibited.

But he conceded that U.S. airplane giant Boeing is not taking part at this year's show.

The organisers said they were expecting some 230,000 visitors. The first three days, June 6-8, of the ILA were to be reserved for business visitors, while the gates will be open to the general public for the final four days, June 9-12.

During the ILA, the ministers responsible for the Airbus programme from the four participating countries - Germany, France, Britain and Spain - will be meeting to discuss the consortium's future.

In addition, the ILA will provide the venue for a NATO workshop and for a meeting of the heads of Europe's air forces.

Birke said he expected the chief topic during the ILA to be the plans by Airbus to build the super jumbo passenger plane A3XX as well as a debate on a further wide-bodied plane either under the direction of Airbus or based on a version of the Russian-built Antonov.

In the military sector, ILA officials said the chief point of interest will be the camouflage technology as represented by the U.S. fighter plane "Stealth F-117", two of which will be on display in Berlin.

The area of large-scale air cargo planes, the highlights will be the Airbus "Beluga" and Russia's huge Antonov 124-100 planes.

Fans of the history of aviation will be treated to a special show called "100 Years of the Zeppelin", in addition to a number of other historical planes, ILA organisers said.

Copyright 2000 dpa Deutsche Press-Agentur GmbH

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