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Aero India 2015: Sky party ends, metal birds fly away

By Dr Anantha Krishnan M

Bengaluru, Feb 22: The metal birds have flown away. Curtains are drawn on Plane Carnival. The 10th edition of Aero India 2015, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 18, concluded at Air Force Station (AFS) Yelahanka today.

This year's aerial extravaganza, branded by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as the biggest ever show being hosted in South Asia, saw a record turn out on all fronts.

Plane at Aero India show

The number of visitors, participating nations, foreign delegations, aircraft on both flying and static display, outdoor exhibits and floor area being used up by various companies -- all saw an increase during this year's show.

Bulls lock wings on air, yet win hearts

A mid-air collision between two pilots of the Flying Bulls team dented the spirits of the plane lovers on day two, with the organisers eventually ruling them out of the remaining part of the show.

Official estimates from the MoD put the number of people visited the show around 5 lakh, with the last day alone recording a footfall of 1.4 lakh.

With ‘Make in India' being central to Aero India 2015 theme, defence manufacturing, airport infrastructure, aerospace, defence and civil aviation sectors were among the key focus at the event.

Child at the show

All is well that ends well

"While tangibles from the several business-to-business and round table meetings that took place will take time to be assessed, Aero India 2015 ends on a successful note," says Gp Capt T K Singha, Chief PRO, MoD.

"The show will also be remembered for the very high degree of professionalism exhibited by the Flying Bulls after their mid-air collision. They must be appreciated for their efforts in landing the aircraft safe with no injuries to anyone on ground or air," adds Gp Capt Singha.

Pooja Singh, a communication professional in city, was among the thousands who visited the show for the first time.

Aero India show

"I am speechless. Enjoyed every bit of the aerobatics and we seldom get to watch the fighters from such a close range. I am sure that Aero India will increase the general awareness of aviation amongst youngsters," says Pooja.

M D Singh, Director Defence Exhibition Organisation, told OneIndia that the involvement of Karnataka government will be the take-away from the show.

"The state government has been supporting all our initiatives during air shows. But, this year, all our needs were addressed at lighting speed," Singh said.

Photos: A Veeramani

(The writer is a seasoned aerospace and defence journalist in India. He is the Consultant Editor (Defence) with OneIndia. He tweets @writetake.)

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