Hyderabad ready for take-off of air show

October 14th, 2008 - 4:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Oct 14 (IANS) Once busy and now-abandoned Begumpet International Airport here is once again aflutter with activity as it gets ready to secure cabin doors and takeoff with a major civil aviation expo - India Aviation 08 - from Wednesday.Co-hosted by the civil aviation ministry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), the show will see more than 35 chief executive officers of some of the biggest names in the aviation industry congregate and confabulate when the industry has probably hit the worst air pocket in recent years.

India’s Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel will be there not only to open this mega show but to also provide aviation company chiefs a chance to discuss their India plans and policy issues, a Ficci statement on the eve of the show said.

From the outside and before you actually enter it, this city’s Begumpet airport seems just what it is - once bursting with activity but now abandoned because the city has got a spanking, new, global standard airport.

But once inside it, visiting media persons - on a reconnaissance before the actual event from Wednesday - were astounded by the beehive that they witnessed.

Several aircraft - ALH, Citation CJ2, Global Express, Eurocopter 145, Hawker 850 XP, Falcon 900 EX, HANSA, Bell Helicopter 412 - had already landed and were being readied to go on display.

More were to land later in the day.

Conference rooms, media centre, media lounge, VIP enclosures, various chalets of companies which would display their products, restaurants and other facilities are busily being given finishing touches by thousands of workers.

The airport’s car parking area also looks as if it is still quite as busy an operating airport as it once was.

The air show will also host an international conference on aviation Thursday with panel discussions by eminent aviation experts and industry leaders from more than 20 countries.

The chiefs of several major aviation companies and airlines have confirmed their participation. These include Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jet Airlines, Kingfisher Airlines and Air India, to name a few.

The air show will also include spectacular air shows, static and flying displays by various aircraft as well as an exhibition on Indian aviation history with rare photographs, the organisers said.

After the inauguration of the show, an Airbus A-319 will arrive from Germany Wednesday 12 noon to be handed over to Air India’s chairman and managing director Raghu Menon.

The air show holds special significance for the media coming as it does just a day after two of the country’s largest private carriers, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines, announced a mega alliance on operational synergies that could give them an annual savings of Rs.10-15 billion.

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