Opening-day visitors to the inaugural Singapore Airshow will find a brand-new site fit for the newly revamped event. Even the land it sits on is new, reclaimed over the last 10 years from the waters of the Singapore Strait. And best of all, if things go according to plan, access should prove pretty much painless.
Urban planning in Singapore
Streaking across the Changi skies in their sleek red-and-white F-16s, the Black Knights symbolize Singapore’s determination to boost this revamped, go-it-alone airshow. The team has re-formed for the first time since 2000. Be sure to catch their performance here this week, for it may not be repeated elsewhere.
Singapore’s Black Knights carves an arc in the skies above Changi as they demonstrate their skills for the airshow crowd. The Black Knights fly F-16 fighters.
Visitors to next February’s Singapore Airshow–35,000 professionals is the organizers’ target–will find a spanking new show site and a relaxed atmosphere to help them focus more keenly than ever on the booming business of aerospace.
Singapore Technologies Aerospace Engineering has opened a $10 million, single-bay facility on Singapore Seletar Airport. It is dedicated to heavy maintenance and modifications for general aviation, helicopters and narrowbody aircraft up to the size of the Boeing 757. In addition, the company has broken ground on a second hangar. The two-bay facility will cost $17.3 million and is set to open next year.
The warm breeze drifting across Singapore Seletar Airport brings a welcome respite from the midday heat in this island nation near the earth’s equator. At Jet Aviation Singapore, v-p and general manager Geoffrey Hopkins is anticipating a breeze of a different kind–a wind of economic recovery brought on by growing prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
The February 2006 Asian Aerospace show at Singapore’s Changi Airport will be the last event in its current format, following a sudden split between the Singapore government and show organizer Reed Exhibitions. Singapore authorities have decided to run their own biennial air show starting February 2008. UK-based Reed is now considering alternative venues outside Singapore to stage future Asian Aerospace events.
The world’s aerospace industry is now having to decide whether to follow the Asian Aerospace show brand up to Hong Kong or whether to stay loyal to Singapore and support the new Changi International Air Show.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) AH-64D Apache Longbow multirole combat helicopter prominently displayed at the entrance to Hall A is one of six that participated in the big do-it-yourself exercise in the U.S. last November. It is the first of three that have been reassigned from the RSAF training base in Arizona to No. 120 Squadron, marking the first-ever deployment of international Apaches in Asia.
The newly launched Changi International Airshow has already been renamed as the Singapore Airshow. The change was announced by Singapore’s deputy prime minister S. Jayakumar at the opening ceremony for Asian Aerospace 2006. Organizers have acknowledged that the Singapore Airshow is what most of the world has always called the Asian Aerospace show (which itself is now set to relocate to Hong Kong).