FIDAE 2014 preparing for launch: One month and counting down!
|Wednesday 26 February 2014||Text by Carlos Ay under Air shows & aviation events|
Roughly a month before the opening ceremony, Gaceta Aeronáutica updates its evolving “sneak peek” of what proffesional and amateur visitors and the general public may encounter late in March, when FIDAE 2014 will officially open up at Santiago de Chile’s international airport.
Attempting to provide the most compact and anticipated preview of the show, this report follows the countdown style adopted for FIDAE 2012 and, relevant news forthcoming, may continue to be updated until the week preceding the 18th International Air & Space Fair (XVIII Feria Internacional del Aire y el Espacio) opening ceremony on 25 March 2014.
Boasting “more than 35 years of experience”, FIDAE defines itself as “the foremost aerospace and defence fair in the region and one of the most important and well-known around the world”. And attempts to set itself apart as the “the only all-embracing exhibition centre that summons six fields: commercial-executive aviation, defence, aircraft maintenance, airport equipment & services, space technologies and homeland security”.
New and unique to FIDAE 2014
Innovating over earlier editions, FIDAE’s two traditional segments are being re-branded. What in the past were known as the “professional” and “public days” are now being renamed the Trade Exhibition (25-28 March) and the Air Show (29-30 March), respectively.
Segment differentiation was revealed when the fair’s renovated web site was launched in August 2013. The new, sleek portal distributes information into red and blue sections catering for their intended audiences (show and trade, respectively).
Having puportedly secured a meaningful Brazilian order, FIDAE also set out to build a new hangar. Located North of the fair ground, the new building has been labelled “Hall E1” and will add 700 square meters in covered surface, with construction work well underway in late October 2013. A further two smaller halls, labelled “A1” and “B1”, are also being added West of the fair ground.
With an estimated 400 square meters surface, sector “B1” will be allocated to the also new Commercial Aviation Hall, which “will house displays and presentation areas focused specifically on addressing the challenges and demands of the burgeoning commercial aviation market in Latin America”, as specified by organizers, Kallman Worldwide.
Addressing one of FIDAE’s Achilles heels, public traffic planning got underway in earnest in mid-November 2013, with coordinating activities involving representatives from Air Force, Police, Transportation Ministry, Civil Aviation and Airports authorities, toll highways and Arturo Merino Benítez airport management.
Looking for worldwide customers
Projecting FIDAE’s historical growth rate (20% as measured in the quantity of participating exhibitors), it should be reasonable to expect that 2014 will see more than 650 firms showing up at Pudahuel. Working towards that goal, FIDAE’s international promotion campaign started in 2012 and visited global trade shows looking for customers from around the world willing to buy on their “gateway to the Latin American market” value proposition.
In the last seven months of 2012, FIDAE was present at Eurosatory (France, June), Farnborough (UK, July), ILA Berlin (Germany, September), Africa Aerospace & Defence (South Africa, September), Japan Aerospace (October), Airshow China (November), I/ITSEC (USA, December) and Exponaval (Chile, December).
Throughout 2013, the organizers also attended HOMSEC (Spain, Fabruary), LAAD (Brazil, April), IDEF (Turkey, May), Le Bourget (France, June), F-Air Colombia (July), MAKS (Russia, September) and LARS (Chile, November).
FIDAE management has also promoted the fair among local businessmen, offering them a prime “opportunity to exhibit their projects and interact with companies from other countries”, as stated in a November press release. To that purpose, representatives from powerful Chilean business associations, the National Chamber of Commerce and the Industry Promotion Society, and Ministry of Defence officials met FIDAE executives starting in October 2013.
Military officials and business executives from Australia looking for trade opportunities, in turn, met FIDAE and Air Force logistics officials in Santiago in April 2013, and 22 foreign air or defence attaches to Chile visited the fair ground in early December 2013.
Confirmations, prospects, guesses…
Even though the fair is not yet publishing its exhibitors list, a number of confirmations and several leads are being made evident through FIDAE press releases and other sources. ABIMDE, the Brazilian Association of Defence and Security Material Industries, was among the first national groups to confirm participation by close to 50 companies which will take up new pavilion “E1”.
From a 23 February visit to the organizers’ web site, Kallman Worldwide has so far logged close to 90 companies and institutions to rent space at the US Pavilion. Confirmed exhibitors include airframe and engine manufacturers Air Tractor, Bell, Boeing, Composite Engineering, Daher-Socata, Enstrom, General Atomics, GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon, Sikorsky, UTC (United Techologies) and Viking Air.
Additional attendees come from the ammunition, ISR (intelligence/surveillance/reconnaissance), logistics and medical support, supplies, information/communication technologies and training sectors. US government bodies (the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the US Embassy to Chile) and two Chilean firms (Cavimar Aerospace and Treck) will also rent US pavilion space.
Boasting “a unique, long lasting relationship with most Latin American countries”, Israel will again be taking part in FIDAE in 2014. Coordinated by SIBAT, the Ministry of Defense’s Export and Defense Cooperation Agency, this nation’s pavilion will be located in Hall “D” and will be populated by SIBAT itself and 11 Israeli companies (including IAI, IMI, IWI, Rafael and Elbit).
According to a 19 December 2013 listing, the Austrian Economic Chamber’s Industrial Cooperation & Aviation Technology Working Group is to lead a seven institutions delegation, with products and services spanning through FIDAE’s six fields of expertise. Argentina’s government is also known to be promoting a 120 square meter stand among national businesses by offering marketing, trade and logistic support and company size-based pricing (Córdoba’s government is additionally offering to cover part of the travel costs and expenses for companies from that province).
TEDAE, the Spanish Association of Air, Space and Defence Technology Companies, is working towards an unified Spanish pavilion, where “increased representation and visibility” and limited Spanish government subsidies will be available for attending companies. MCIA, the Uruguayan Air Industry Coordinating Table, is also looking for companies willing to integrate a national stand to be sponsored by Uruguay XXI, their government’s Investment and Exports Promotion Agency.
According to FIDAE information, LATAM Airlines and DGAC, Chile’s Civil Aviation Authority, are to base their stands in the new Commercial Aviation Hall; while Sweden’s SAAB is coming back to Santiago to celebrate the Brazilian decission to buy 36 Gripen fighters for their air force. Several other companies, including Beechcraft, ERA, Euro Avionics, Honeywell, Maxam, Russian Helicopters, Suntech and Tecnobit, are already listing FIDAE 2014 as a forthcoming event (or outright confirming their participation) on their sites; and prospective negotiations were also revealed by FIDAE with Airbus Helicopters’ Chilean branch in June and with China’s CATIC in July 2013.
Conferences, simposiums, conventions & media meetings
As usual, several forums and media events are to take place in Chile coinciding with FIDAE 2014. Notice some of the may require formal invitation (e.g. logistics commanders meeting), special accreditation (e.g. IATA’s Wings of Change) or outright ticket purchase (Bruce Dickinson conferences). Confirmed so far are the following:
Tuesday 25 March:
- 03:00 pm: South American Air Force Logistics Commanders Forum (session #1, private).
Wednesday 26 March:
- 09:00 am: South American Air Force Logistics Commanders Meeting (session #2).
- 09:00 am: VIII Wings of Change International Aviation Summit (WOC) opening ceremony and key note speech by IATA Director General and CEO, Tony Tyler.
- 10:00 am: Chilean Public Works Ministry conference: “Efficient technology use in airport processes”.
- 10:50 am: WOC conference “Setting the Scene: Priorities for Latin America” by Dr. Benard Aliu, President elect of the Council of ICAO (to be confirmed).
- 11:00 am: II Space Conference session #1: “Space as a development tool”.
- 11:40 am: WOC Block 1 “Infrastructure Roadblocks in Latin America”.
- 12:50 pm: WOC Block 2 “The Social Dimension of Air Transport”.
- 01:50 pm: WOC Technical Assistance Presentation, by ICAO & IATA.
- 03:30 pm: WOC Block 3 “Putting the passenger first”.
Thursday 27 March:
- 09:00 am: South American Air Force Logistics Commanders Forum (session #3).
- 09:00 am: II Space Conference session #2: “Geospace information for decission making”.
- 09:00 am: WOC Block 4 “Distribution Trends”.
- 10:00 am: WOC Block 5 “CEO Panel”.
- 11:45 am: WOC Block 6 “Biofuels for the Americas”.
- 12:45 pm: WOC Block 7 “What’s coming in the next 30 years?”
- 02:00 pm: VIII Wings of Change Closing.
Friday 28 March:
- 10:00 am: “Creative Business and Innovation” conference #1, by aviation entrepreneur and heavy metal rock star Bruce Dickinson.
- 03:30 pm: “Creative Business and Innovation” conference #2, by aviation entrepreneur and heavy metal rock star Bruce Dickinson.
What about planes?
Participation by aerobatic teams is finally beginning to take shape. Local credit, the Chilean Air Force Halcones, are rebuilding team training and fleet after the sad loss of one pilot, their chief mechanic and one aircraft in March 2013. In fact, they were reported displaying again at Viña del Mar on 8 February for the first Red Bull Flugtag Chile event (albeit with a reduced, three-aircraft formation)
The fair’s second regular team, Brazil’s Esquadrilha da Fumaça, is unlikely to show up as they are presently undergoing conversion from Tucano to Super Tucano and their T-29 fleet is yet to be completed. Making up for the eventual Brazilian absence, César Falistocco’s Argentine aerobatic team will be demonstrating their three RANS S10 Sakotas in the last three days of the event.
And though little has been officially reported about a list of prospective aircraft exhibitions, we continue to scan the web for our own preliminary forecast. As soon as research provides meaningful results, a separate list of confirmed or reasonably projected participating aircraft will be initialised.
Meanwhile, in the military field, we hope Chile’s armed services will show up with some of the most recent additions to their fleets, including elusive C295 maritime patrol and antisubmarine warfare aircraft from the Navy and Hermes UAVs and Cirrus SR22 light props from the Air Force.
As stated in some of our social media postings, we maintain a very conservative forecast for foreign air forces participation. The United States rating has improved slightly after sequestration was terminated and increased debt was approved by Congress, but the F-22 Demonstration Team is definitively not coming to FIDAE 2014… so half a dozen aircraft on static display are now our best hope!
Brazilian forces are a safer bet, but they’re expected to display a downsized combat aircraft component following the Mirage 2000 retirement (will they entertain us with classic F-5 Tigers, please?). Other European and Latin American air forces which have participated in the past (France, United Kingdom, Argentina, Perú and Venezuela) are unlikely to show up due to budgetary, diplomatic or geopolitical constraints.
Industry exhibitors should propose a larger number of display aircraft. FIDAE confirmed on 10 February that Airbus will again be exhibiting the A380; while Boeing, Embraer and other airliner manufacturers are expected to follow suit with top models of their own. General aviation aircraft exhibitions by AgustaWestland, Air Tractor, Bell, Bombardier, Cessna, Cirrus, Daher Socata, Dornier, Embraer, Beechcraft, Gulfstream, Hawker, Pilatus, Piper and/or Robinson are also starting to be confirmed and they are bound to be organised either by their Chilean representatives or the manufacturers themselves.
Closer to the author’s heart, it is also hoped that Argentina’s FAdeA will show their most recent concept demonstrators or mock-ups for the first time at an international event (see “FAdeA unveils Pampa III and Unasur I concept demonstrators”).
Under “new” management?
FIDAE 2014 is likely to see a number of past authorities re-appearing at the show. Recently re-elected to the presidential post, Michelle Bachelet Jería is likely to re-visit Pudahuel for her fourth FIDAE opening ceremony, having previously attended as Minister of Defence (in 2004 and 2006) and as President (in 2008).
Ticket prices will increase 40% for adults attending the week end air show (US $ 14) and 30% for for trade exhibition days (US $ 35), with kids under 1.20 m height and seniors visiting during the weekend retaining their 2012 rates (US $ 6). The fair will open at 10 am and close at 5 pm, although access will be security restricted on Tuesday 25 from 10 am to 12 am for the opening ceremony.
Internet sources: ABIMDE, Advantage Austria, AEQ Aeroespacial, Argentina Trade Net, Aviación Total, Beechcraft, Dinapyme Uruguay, ERA, Escuadrilla Argentina de Acrobacia Aérea, Esquadrilha da Fumaça, FACH, FIDAE, Halcones, Honeywell Aerospace, Kallman Worldwide, MAXAM, Pro Córdoba, Radio Cooperativa, Scramble, SIBAT, Spotters Chile, Suntech/Verint, TEDAE, Uruguay XXI and USAF. Acknowledgements: Luis Quintana contributed to this report.