Bengaluru will continue to play host to Aero India for another year. The Central government has confirmed that Aero India will be held in Bengaluru in 2019. On Saturday, the Ministry of Defence issued a press release stating that it has decided to hold Aero India 2019 in Bengaluru between February 20 and 24, 2019.
This five-day event will include a major trade exhibition for the aerospace and defence industries with public air shows. â€śBesides global leaders and big investors in the aerospace industry, the show will also see participation by think-tanks from across the world,â€ť the statement says. The MoDâ€™s press release says that the show will give fillip to the domestic aviation industry and further the cause of Make in India programme.
The latest press release comes after the Ministry of Defence had in August announced that a lot of requests had come in from other states to shift Aero India out of Bengaluru to Lucknow.
Reports had suggested that in view of the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha Elections and the need to mobilise vote banks and drive investment into Uttar Pradesh, the Ministry of Defence was considering moving Aero India from Bengaluru to Lucknow.
Soon after the announcement was made, several political leaders in Karnataka from both the BJP and Congress had written to the Centre requesting that Aero India, the pride of Bengaluru and the state, not be shifted out.
Reports had suggested that since preparations for the air show is expensive and time-consuming, companies showcasing their aircraft would find it difficult if the location was shifted abruptly.
Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had also written a letter to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman requesting that the shift must not happen.
â€śAero India has been hosted by Karnataka since 1996 and our air base is still one of the best in the country for this purpose. Aviation experts and companies across the globe congregate in what is the largest aviation event in the country which is not only a matter of pride for our state but is a much-needed shot in the arm for our very own indigenous aerospace industry,â€ť the letter stated.
Aero India has been held at the Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bengaluru since its inception. Preparations for the grand occasion typically begin a year in advance; but with less than six months to go for the event, reports stated that if it was shifted, the event may not be held in 2019 altogether.
On August 14, Union Minister Ananth Kumar had issued an assurance stating that he had requested Nirmala Sitharaman to not shift the show from Bengaluru.