BENGALURU: As curtains came down on Aero India 2017 on Saturday, thousands of visitors thronged the Yelahanka Air Force Station in anticipation of catching a glimpse of some of the most advanced aircraft in the world.
Most of the stalls were cleared on Friday and there were just skeletal staff at a few stalls on Saturday. A BEL employee said, "This was an amazing experience and seeing visitors, including foreigners, coming in to visit our stand was heartening."
Foreign companies were also quite impressed with the air show. Mr Vineet Khunger of Saab India said, "This year's air show was a good one and we will come back for the next one."
A GE official at the US Pavilion, who wished not to be identified, said, "It was quite impressive. American companies made a good impression here."
Rahul Tripathi of Brahmos Aerospace said that he has been seeing the air show grow every year. "Ever since I started frequenting the Aero India, it has only grown in strength. We see more companies coming to participate. Newer companies set up stalls this time and we got to see newer technology."
But he had some reservations too. "India is looking to become a $20 billion market player by 2020. To achieve that, we need more decision-makers arriving and more crucial decisions taken. We should encourage more countries to participate in the exhibition."
Stressing that Aero India should be held on a much bigger scale, he said, "We should aim to compete with the Paris Air Show, Farnborough Air Show or the Moscow Air Show. There should be many more delegations. Hundreds of countries participate in these shows. We should aim to make Aero India like them." Mr Manjunath Kumar, a visitor, said, "The flying displays were breathtaking and I was very impressed with the aircraft here."
Mr Ajay Krishna, another visitor, said, "This Aero Show was good. But they should have allowed the public to witness the inaugural ceremony. I was disappointed that I had to watch it on TV."...