Bengaluru: In a heavily polarised society like Karnataka, this is the one issue which could bring warring political parties on the same platform. Amid fears that the prestigious Aero India show could be shifted to Lucknow, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi making a fervent plea to retain the biennial aviation show in the city itself. He pointed out that the state capital is the hub of defence and aviation majors in the country and is certainly the most suitable place to conduct the show.
The CM formally requested the Centre to host the Aero India-2019 in Bengaluru itself amid speculation that the show may be shifted to the Bakshi ki Talab airbase in the UP capital Lucknow. Starting from 1996, the IT capital has taken great pride in hosting eleven back to back Aero shows. In his letter to PM Modi, the Chief Minister explained in detail why the show should be hosted in Bengaluru itself. "A total of 549 global and Indian companies from 51 countries had participated in the eleventh edition of Aero show held in 2017," he reasoned.
Mr Kumaraswamy also pointed out that the state capital, Bengaluru was the hub of defence and aviation majors in the country and was certainly the most suitable place to conduct the show. And Yelahanka proved to be the best choice because of free airspace around the Air Force Station, a sprawling campus to host the event and adequate room to extend the runway for participation of advanced jets from across the world, and the presence of aerospace industries and DRDO laboratories which volunteered to co-sponsor the first event. Sources said Air Marshal Denzil Keelor (Retd), then air adviser to DGCA, stepped in and convinced all foreign aircraft to land in Yelahanka during the three-day show (December 15-18) for re-fuelling while heading home after the Malaysian Air Show.
The first air show in the country, Avia India ’93, had another first: the first Indian in space, Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma (Retd), was the commentator! Wing Commander B.J. Vaz (Retd) joined him in the commentator’s box to describe the manoeuvres of jets like Mirage 2000, Sea Harriers, the Hawk trainer aircraft and Kamov helicopter. In 1996, the Ministry of Defence stepped in to organise the first Aero India, and turned it into a biennial event.
Note from Kannada.Club :
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