I’ve been a regular visitor of the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Pampanga – considered the Philippines’ biggest air show – for several years.
So when I got word that I was going to visit the 2014 Singapore Airshow (for work), I was expecting more or less the same kind of sights and and activities as the local one. Of course, my expectation was exceeded.
The Singapore Airshow is said to be the biggest aviation show in Asia, and with good reason. The week-long show, which was held at the Changi Exhibition Center in Singapore, had over a thousand gorgeous world-class exhibits by various airlines, MRO businessess and defense companies from 47 countries and had 279 delegations from 72 countries – one of the biggest shows I’ve seen.
Some of these exhibits were towering, gleaming structures with various activities ranging from flight deck demonstrations to war-zone console games. I would know many people who would find these booth activities more entertaining than the aircraft arcade games of Time Zone.
What I enjoyed the most was watching the aerial shows which showcased not old planes but modern, state-of-the-art jetfighters and other aircraft zooming through the skies in colorful formation, sometimes flying so low near the audience for a breathtaking effect (I think some pilots got in trouble for this though).
When these aerial shows were on a break, various aircraft like the Airbus A350 and a profusion of modern fighter jets, choppers and other military vehicles were crowd favorites for photos. With so many weapons of mass destruction, military aircraft, and defense control systems on display it was like war was about to happen at any given time.
Although there were no hot air balloons in that event, I would expect that our local airshows aspire to reach the level of the Singapore Airshow in terms of top notch exhibits, the aerial wow factor and business opportunities. I think with just some good planning, support from companies and government, dedication, and a bit of creativity (which our country has a lot of) we will get there!
Of course the show itself was not the only reason I was there. I also got to enjoy fun cocktails with colleagues, a great 3-day stay at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, and my favorite part – a bit of shopping and walking around Singapore before heading home.