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Preparations for Singapore Airshow in full swing

Preparations are well underway for the fourth edition of the Singapore Airshow, which starts on Tuesday. It is Asia's largest aerospace and defence exhibition and organiser Experia Events said close to 60 per cent of tickets for the public have been sold.

SINGAPORE: Preparations are well underway for the fourth edition of the Singapore Airshow, which starts on Tuesday.

It is Asia's largest aerospace and defence exhibition and organiser Experia Events said close to 60 per cent of tickets for the public have been sold.

That is about 45,000 tickets out of the 80,000 on offer for next weekend, when the event is open to public.

The first four days - from Tuesday to Friday - are for trade visitors.

Organisers said this year’s Singapore Airshow will be the biggest edition yet.

More than 90 aircraft are on display, the largest number ever. This is up from 72 display aircraft in the previous edition two years ago.

Another record – more than 1,000 companies from 47 countries are participating this year. This is 10 per cent more companies than the last edition in 2012.

30 per cent of the participating companies are new to the show.

All the exhibition space at this year's Singapore Airshow has been booked.

Apart from greater participation from countries that have showcased in Singapore before, there are also some newcomers, like Malaysia and Hong Kong, who are participating for the first time.

To cope with space constraints - some exhibitors have opted for double-decker booths, or have taken part of their display outdoors.

Organisers said the double-decker booths have boosted the nett indoor exhibition space from 24,000 square metres in 2012 to 25,000 square metres this year.

The outdoor exhibition area remains the same as previous years, at 100,000 square metres.

One of the exhibitors is Singapore's ST Engineering - the show's largest exhibitor.

It will display its new USTAR series of unmanned aerial vehicles, among other technology.

Another highlight is the Airbus A350XWB, which will make its first full display at an international airshow.

The aircraft will perform its first-ever flying display on 11 and 12 February.

The US is also the show's first feature country with more than 160 companies taking part, the largest number for a country.

Kirk Wagar, US ambassador to Singapore, said: "The real opportunity for growth is in Asia, it's substantially more than the rest of the world, I think. So our American companies are already working in this region and developing relationships and strategic partnerships.”

Looking ahead, organisers said Changi Airport's expansion may impact accessibility to the Airshow.

Jimmy Lau, managing director of Experia Events, which organises Singapore Airshow, said: "When construction begins for the expansion of the Changi Air Hub, we will have to look into accessibility to the Singapore Airshow site because the main Aviation Park Road will probably be used for quite a fair bit for construction equipment and such.

“Air space wise, it's always been a constraint. We've co-existed with Changi (Airport) for a number of years now and we'll continually try and work this out and try and avoid their most peak period and proceed as planned.”

For now, the Singapore Airshow is set for take-off the coming week. 

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