Air Transport World

Farnborough '92: leaner but greener. (Farnborough International Air Show)

LONDON--"In the global aviation industry today, there are just too many of these events," said Sir Barry Duxbury, director of the Society of British Aerospace Cos. (SBAC), the body that organizes the biennial Farnborough air show. "The industry could support one major international show each year, plus local shows. But there is what I might term the 'blackmail' factor. If your competitors are there, it is difficult to stay away."

Duxbury was talking in frank fashion here as the tented city of exhibition hails and company hospitality chalets for Farnborough International '92 rose on the Defence Research Agency formerly RAE--site 40 mi. southwest of the capital.

The trend that he identified, plus continuing recession in the airline industry and the winding down of defense budgets, has produced a show that, in numbers of exhibitors, has shrunk since it was held last, two years ago.

Almost 800 companies were present then. This time around, it looks as if the total will be about 650-the same as at Farnborough '88. But SBAC is keeping a stiff British upper lip about this year's event, which opens with press day on Sept. 6, trade days Sept. 7-10 and public days Sept. 11-13.

In fact, in talking to ATW, Duxbury found considerable satisfaction in the numbers that have registered. He commented: "Looking at the space we have sold, I do not see any of tlie firms which are heavily involved in defense running away from Farnborough.

"Some of them [manufacturers] want to become less dependent on defense. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.