From advanced military hardware to corporate jets to the hundreds of trade exhibitors, the 2019 Australian International Airshow and Aerospace and Defence Exposition has something for everyone.
Avalon has been transformed into a temporary tent city with massive exhibitor halls and a dedicated conference precinct alongside a grass airfield, aircraft park for visiting light aircraft and a heliport.
Meanwhile, chalet row by the runway – that will continue to handle a number of regular public transport (PRT) flights amid the flying displays – will feature some of the biggest names in aviation.
As the airshow’s official title suggests, the event which runs from Tuesday February 24 to Sunday March 1 is divided into two parts.
The trade and industry component is held over the first three and a half days before the doors are opened to the general public on Friday afternoon.
For the trade days, Australian small and medium enterprises (SME) keen to find a place in the global aviation/aerospace supply chain will show their wares in the exhibition halls,. There are more than 600 exhibitors expected.
In addition to the trade exhibition, Avalon’s conference program has a number of symposia, seminars or fora on topics such as drones, space, aviation safety and defence science and technology.
One such forum is the inaugural FlySafe 2019, a partnership between Airservices Australia, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), which aims to enhance aviation safety through discussing and exploring a range of issues with experts from all three organisations.
Airshow organisers said 73 Chief of Air Force counterparts have been invited to Avalon 2019, the most ever in the history of the event.
“Avalon means business, and that means bringing the world to Australia and taking Australia to the world through high-quality delegations and guests who are here to see what Australian industry had to offer,” Avalon 2019 chief executive Ian Honnery said in a recent airshow newsletter.
“The number of high-level Air Chiefs and industry players reflects this.
“A record number of Air Chiefs have been invited, adding another dimension to Avalon 2019 as an international marketplace and the ideal location for Australian industry to reach out to the world.”
On the public side of things, the highlight is the flying display with aircraft from the Army, Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) alongside .
Aircraft expected to be on the ground at Avalon included the first F-35A Joint Strike Fighters to be based in Australia, MRH-90 Taipan maritime utility helicopters and CH-47F Chinooks, according to the Air Force website.
Having such a diverse lineup, from a major trade exhibition, an extensive conference program and an entertainment spectacle, at the one event makes Avalon stand out from other airshows.
All branches of aviation are represented during the week ahead, from airsport to general aviation, recreational aviation, regional aviation and corporate aviation right through to airlines and the military. The event aims to reach out to all aspects of aviation.
The 13th Avalon Airshow held in 2017 had a total attendance of 210,000 people, including 33,000 international delegates from 45 countries.
And the economic impact is significant, with the Victorian government saying at the time the 2017 airshow provided a $150 million boost to the economy.