Ending speculations over the venue of Aero India 2019, the Ministry of Defence Saturday announced that the air show will be held in Bengaluru from February 20 to February 24. The Indian Express had earlier reported that there were talks of shifting the venue out of Yelahanka airbase in Bengaluru, where it has been held since its inception 22 years ago.
The government had been pushing for Bakshi Ka Talab airbase in Lucknow as its preferred choice. All stakeholders, including the IAF, were consulted about shifting the venue out of Bengaluru but it faced a lot of opposition as sufficient infrastructure had been created in Yelahanka.
The names suggested by the PMO were Naliya airbase in Bhuj (Gujarat) and any airbase in UP, ministry sources added, with IAF being favourably disposed towards UP. The IAF, sources said, proposed Hindon airbase near Ghaziabad as first choice, followed by Kheria airbase in Agra. Bakshi ka Talab airbase in Lucknow did not figure in the suggestion.
“This five-day event will combine a major trade exhibition for the aerospace and defence industries with public air shows,” the defence ministry statement read. It further said that the show will be attended by global leaders, big investors in aerospace industry and think-tanks from across the world.
The government is looking forward to the show as an “opportunity for exchange of information, ideas and new developments in the aviation industry. Besides giving fillip to the domestic aviation industry it would further the cause of Make in India.”