Singapore Airshow 2018 to showcase emerging technologies, link start-ups to larger players

Visitos to the Singapore Airshow watching a display by South Korea's Black Eagles on Feb 21, 2016.
Visitos to the Singapore Airshow watching a display by South Korea's Black Eagles on Feb 21, 2016. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore Airshow 2018, to be held from Feb 6 to 11, will focus on emerging technologies and give start-ups a platform to pitch their ideas to larger players.

The biennial event at Changi Exhibition Centre will feature technological innovations in areas such as autonomous vehicles, cybersecurity, as well as next-generation maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) technology.

“MRO is (a traditional part of the industry), but it’s also indispensable. Aircraft need to be maintained and repaired,” Mr Leck Chet Lam, managing director of organiser Experia Events, told reporters on Wednesday (Dec 6). He added that the use of virtual reality and data analytics could enhance the technology.

“My team and I are focused on curating the latest technologies, products and innovations to feature at the airshow.”

Four business forums to discuss key challenges facing the global aviation industry will also focus on these areas.

Mr Leck said start-ups will have a “direct nexus” to investors, accelerators and corporate partners, allowing them to network with these larger players, and pitch their business ideas to them.

About 50 local and overseas start-ups are expected to take part in the airshow.

Another highlight will be the Republic of Singapore Airforce (RSAF) launching its 50th anniversary celebrations on Feb 7, the second day of the airshow, said Mr Leck. The RSAF would provide more details next month (Jan).

The event will also feature the second run of the Singapore Airshow Aero Campus (SAAC) - a programme aimed at getting secondary and tertiary students, as well as young working adults, interested in the sector.

More than 1,000 firms from 50 countries have confirmed their attendance at the event, the sixth to be held.

It has already attracted 65 of the world’s major aviation companies, with returning exhibitors such as Airbus, Boeing and Lockheed Martin making up 70 per cent of the participants.

New exhibitors include Honda Aircraft, Aviation Learn and Boom Supersonic. 

The airshow will be open to members of the public on Feb 10 and 11. Half-hour aerobatic displays, a crowd favourite, are scheduled on 11.30am and 2.30pm on both days.

Like in 2016, on-call taxis as well as private-hire services such as Uber and Grab will not be available to visitors, as part of efforts to manage traffic congestion.

Experia said it will provide shuttle services and work with taxi operators to ensure sufficient transport options for visitors.

More than 80,000 members of the public visited the airshow in 2016.