The Defence Ministry was forced to come down from its move to shift the venue of Aero India 2019 from Bengaluru forced to continue it in the garden city. Putting an end to speculations in this regard, it has announced today that the air show will be held in Bengaluru from February 20 to February 24.
Since its inception, Yelahanka airbase in Bengaluru continue to be its venue since 22 years. However, the Aero India which is Asia’s largest military aviation exhibition was mired into a controversy ever since Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath made a plea to the government to shift the venue from Bengaluru to Lucknow and assured that his government is willing to provide all support to make the event a mega success.
The event is organised by the Defence Exhibition Organisation under the Defence Ministry. The event was first held in 1996 and has been held at Yelahanka air base outside Bengaluru since then. Bowing down to political pressures,the Defence Ministry attempted to shift the venue. All stakeholders, including the IAF, were consulted about shifting the venue out of Bengaluru and Union Defence Ministr Nirmala Sitaraman also indicating the same expressed her helplessness. Incidentally, she is representing Karnataka in Rajya Sabha.
But it has generated a lot of oppositoin from the Karnataka government and also various sections of the society. It was said that sufficient infrastructure had been created in Yelahanka for this show and now the ministry has to create a fresh in Lucknow.
On the otherhand, the Prime Minister office had tried to shift the same to Gujarat, suggesting Naliya airbase in Bhuj . However, the Indian Air Force (IAF) preferred some airbace in Uttar Pradesh. They proposedHindon airbase near Ghaziabad as first choice, followed by Kheria airbase in Agra. But, ironically, Yogi Adityanath’s preference of Bakshi ka Talab airbase in Lucknow did not figure in the suggestion.
The Defence Ministry said that this five-day event will combine a major trade exhibition for the aerospace and defence industries with public air shows. The show will be attended by global leaders, big investors in aerospace industry and think-tanks from across the world.