Asia’s largest aerospace and defence event, the Singapore Airshow 2018 began with a bang on Tuesday with, according to officials, 1,062 companies from 50 countries and around 50,000 trade visitors expected to attend over the three day event.
The show was officially opened on February 6 by Singapore’s Co-ordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan and Minister for Defence Dr. Ng Eng Hen. However the first day of the event was marred by events on and off the runway, with chaotic taxi queues resulting in more than an hours’ delay leaving the show – a legacy of ‘improved’ traffic arrangements for 2018 – and a ground incident involving two Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) aerobatic team jets.
The KAI T-50A Golden Eagle aircraft, from the ROKAF aerobatic team the ‘Black Eagles’ left the runway and overturned during its take off roll from the nearby Changi international airport, closing one runway for several hours. The pilot however reportedly escaped with only minor injuries.
Team Defence Australia is represented in force at the show, with no fewer than 37 SMEs participating, under the care of Chef de Mission Major General Andrew Mathewson. The Team Defence Australia stand in the exhibition hall was officially opened by Bruce Gosper, Australia’s ambassador to the island state, and Chief of Air Force Air Marshal ‘Leo’ Davies.
“We are looking to partner with the Singapore aerospace industry,” Gosper said. “We have a terrific relationship with Singapore and one of the pillars is what we’re doing on the defence side.”
In other regional news on the opening day, Boeing’s head of P-8 Global Sales, Matt Carreon confirmed that the newly-elected NZ Government is still engaged in negotiations for the sale of three or four P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.
“NZ is continuing on track to acquire the aircraft,” he said.
A complete rundown of all the news and events of Singapore 2018 will appear in the March issue of ADM.