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Aero India 2009 – part 1

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The 7th edition of Aero India was held at Bangalore’s Yelahanka Air Force Station from 11th to 15th February, 2009. Aero India is a biennial Indian air show and aviation exhibition which is organized by the Ministry of Defence, Government of India and managed by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

This year China participated for the first time in Aero India. With more than 550 organisations taking part in the Aero India 2009 it is one of the largest Air Shows in the world and largest in Asia. Some of the major ones being Boeing, Sukhoi, SAAB, Rafael, IAI, Lockheed Martin etc. The 2009 edition was particularly interesting because of the presence of a larger number of Fighter, UAVs and Transport aircraft. With India emerging as one of the largest importer of arms and $10 billion deal for 126 multi role combat aircraft up for grabs it is no surprise that such a strong presence was demonstrated.

First Impression

As a visitor the first impression that I got was that of chaos. Long queues and choked roads were to be seen at the approach roads and the parking areas. P-3 parking area was full and it took two rounds of the BIAL road to understand that the parking was now available at the P-6 area. In all this confusion I missed the morning air show. Anyways after parking my vehicle I had to stand in another queue to board the BMTC AC bus. While standing in the queue verbal fight broke out between people as someone tried to jump the queue as in typical Indian fashion. The AC in the bus cooled my irritation and felt like the best thing in the world as it gave a lot of relief from the dust and heat. The buses took us to the entrance gate where we had to stand in the queues twice as security checks were being made, what made it worse was the dust and heat that was relentless. Why can’t they just tar the area or sprinkle it with some water to reduce the dust from soiling the clothes and shoes of the visitors. And just two gates for hundreds of visitors is just plain poor planning and consequently people bickered and jostled for space.

The Exhibition

Finally made it through the security checks and entered the exhibition area. There were a lot of halls and hundreds of stalls. I am sure that there is no way you can see all the exhibitions in one day, it will at least take three or four days to see all the exhibitions. Still I tried to see all the important ones including the Sukhoi, IAI, Rafael, SAAB, DRDO, BEL, BDL etc. The area inside was huge and easily accommodated the large crowd. The people managing stalls were courteous and helpful, there were couple of them with good female presence and most of the desi (Indian) crowd was more interested in gawking at them rather than the exhibitions.

Exhibition Area for the show was divided into individual air conditioned halls. Each hall had a group of companies from different parts of the world.

Exhibition Area

Aero India Exhibition Area

SAAB Stall

SAAB Stall


ISRO Display

Inside the Halls were displayed a dazzling array of latest electronics and weapons systems. In most of the hall entrance there were queues manned by guards that checked you tickets RFID tags. I passed through couple of these checkpoints but the guards seemed rather poorly trained and did not even wait for the beep sound that came from the device that confirmed the tag. Imagine if I were a terrorist.
The action inside the halls can be best explained by the pictures so here are some quick snaps of the varous halls.

MIG 35
MiG 35

Eurofighter Typhoon
Eurofighter Typhoon

Rafael weapons display

French Rafael weapons display

SAAB Gripen
SAAB Gripen

BDL Stall
BDL Stall at Aero India 2009

Milan 2 ATGM displayed at BDL stall
Milan 2 ATGM

Israel’s IAI
Israel's IAI stall

Russia’s Ilyushin
Russian Ilyushin Company Stall


One Response

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  1. Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo


    March 29, 2009 at 12:43 pm

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