Yesterday evening in Bogotá’s Corferias Convention Center, an reception attended by civilian officials, police and military brass from several different countries formally launched the preparatory phase for the 2015 F-Air Colombia International Air Show, to take place from July 9-12, in Rionegro, Colombia, at Medellin’s José Maria Córdova International Airport.
Above: Dr. Lenis Steffens takes the podium to make remarks at the 2015 F-Air Colombia launch reception.
The air show is designed primarily to provide a platform for global players in the aviation and aeronautical sectors to present developments and updates in their product and service offerings to both the regional civilian and military aerospace industries. Open to government and business aviation users, the event will also be open to aviation enthusiasts from the public, with demonstrations confirmed by Colombian and Chilean armed forces. Other nations may perform but have not yet confirmed.
“Many companies in the aviation world are taking notice of us,” said Dr. Gustavo Alberto Lenis Steffens, the director general of Aeronautica Civil, Colombia’s civil aviation authority, and joint organizer of the event along with Colombia’s air force, and Corferias. “We have the third most aviation traffic in Latin America, behind Mexico and Brazil. Colombia’s aviation sector is important and modern, and this is a chance to bring the major players, the most important service providers to Colombia.”
Over 229 exhibitors are expected to demonstrate their wares and innovations, coming from China, Russia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Israel, Colombia, and official invitee, the United States, which will have a large, official delegation participating in the event. While the business salons are expected to host 519 face to face meetings, total participation including the aviation enthusiast public is expected to reach 54,000 visitors, and be a boon to the Medellin area’s tourism economy.
“The goal is not to be bigger, but yes, it’s going to be bigger (than the last show in 2013). For me, what is more important is that each time more actors in the aeronautical world are coming. I have spoken to some that are coming, and there are proposals for training—for example, there is one firm that is already interested in opening a training center, and will start, beginning in October in the free zone, to offer services to countries in the region. That will be a giant investment because each flight simulator costs between eight and nine million dollars. That’s what the air show is looking for,” added Dr. Lenis Steffens. “Colombia has a privileged geographic location. We are best located to reach Latin America and Miami. From that we are going to develop our services in the aviation sector that generate employment and generate knowledge.”
Confirmed exhibitors include global aerospace names such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Israel Aerospace Industries, Rafael, Saab, World Fuel Services, Honeywell, Rockwell Collins, Israel Aerospace Industries, and others.