The 2012 Farnborough International Airshow is set to open on July 9, with almost 1,500 exhibitors from some 70 countries preparing to receive up to 120,000 business visitors (and potentially more than twice as many visitors again on the event’s public days).
Overall, one quarter of 2012 exhibitors have increased the amount of space they’ve booked compared with their presence two years ago. Some 28 percent of 2012 exhibitors are exhibiting for the first time at Farnborough.
As of press time, expectations of large volumes of new order announcements were fairly low, even on the generally healthy civil side of the aerospace industry. Defense exhibitors are having to contend with reduced military budgets, but activity in areas such as unmanned systems is expected to be strong at Farnborough.
Among the anticipated stars of the show will be a Boeing 787 (in the colors of fast-growing Middle Eastern carrier Qatar Airways) and Space Ship 2, which has been developed for the Virgin Galactic space tourism venture.
Business aviation has a relatively low profile at Farnborough despite the fact that the airport, owned and operated by TAG Aviation, is one of London’s main private aviation gateways. The static display will include an Airbus ACJ319 (provided by local operator Acropolis Aviation); Bell Helicopter 525 Relentless (mockup); Dassault Falcon 7X and 2000LX; Embraer Legacy 650; Hawker Beechcraft King Air 200, 250 and 350; Piaggio Avanti II; and Pilatus PC-12.