15,000 solar panels to power Singapore Airshow

The Singapore Airshow in February will be fully solar-powered for the first time in its 12-year history.

The biennial aviation show to be held at the Experia Events’ Changi Exhibition Centre will be powered by around 15,000 solar panels, which have already been installed on the building’s roof.

“This is really our little effort in contributing to make sure there is environmental sustainability,” said Experia Events managing director Leck Chet Lam at a briefing on Thursday.

The air show from Feb 11 to 16 will feature a trade exhibition, a series of high-level meetings, business forums and aerial displays for the public.

Another key initiative will be “talent development” programmes, like Education Days and Aero Campus, that are targeted at youth. These are meant to pique younger students’ interest in aerospace technology and possibly connect graduating students with companies looking to hire.

Mr Leck said the event expects around 65 of the top 100 aerospace and defence firms, over 1,000 companies from some 50 countries, and an excess of 55,000 trade attendees from 150 countries at Asia’s largest aerospace show.

There has been a 5 per cent increase in participation from private companies in China, with greater interest from them in pushing their products to the wider market, he said.

These include the wide-body CRAIC CR929 aircraft, which was developed by Russia and China to challenge the duopoly held by Boeing and Airbus.

Mr Leck said geopolitical tensions such as the United States-China trade war will not affect the air show’s strong participation numbers: “The aviation industry is a long-cycle business, it’s not like consumer electronics.

“This is my personal view but we all know that the trade war is not going to be a 20-to 30-year thing. It’s going to be three years, five years, I don’t know, but the aviation cycle will outlive that, so I think that’s why we’re all taking a long-term view.”

One new programme at the show, which will be the seventh held here, is an Innovation Forum, where industry leaders such as EmbraerX and Boeing HorizonX will discuss the theme of urban mobility.

Mr Leck noted: “We all want to take an autonomous air taxi, we want to go into those futuristic vehicles that we see, so the speakers from all these leading companies will be here to talk about their innovation, their timeline, how their products are evolving and how they’ll fit into our day-to-day lives.”

Business forums and high-level meetings like the Singapore Airshow Aviation Leadership Summit – which will be attended by aviation and government regulators, airline and airport chiefs and industry experts – will continue to be a highlight of the event.

At the same time, the A*Star Aerospace Technology Leadership Forum, the Singapore Aerospace Technology & Engineering Conference and the inaugural Aerospace Media Awards Asia will be co-located at the event.

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