Friedrichshafen - Anyone who is a pilot has to be there: The AERO at Lake Constance is the international hotspot for general aviation in Europe. Whenever the subject is general aviation, pilots and trade visitors from around the world clearly turn their attention to "destination FDH.” The response at the 25th AERO, which ended on April 8 after four days, was correspondingly strong. The show set two new records: 34,200 trade visitors (2016: 30,800; 2015:33,900) from Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and around the world set a new attendance record at the industry expo. 707 exhibitors was also a new record for the show, surpassing the previous high of 606 set in 2016. Messe Friedrichshafen CEO Klaus Wellmann said: "It was clear that our AERO is the most important business meeting for the industry in Europe, a lot of premieres and innovations were presented here.” AERO project leader Roland Bosch was also on cloud nine: "Everything fit perfectly; the 25th edition of the show was outstanding. Ideal flying weather, a wonderful anniversary party, extremely satisfied exhibitors and a visitor record on top of it all. What more could you want?” said Bosch.
According to many experts, the AERO Friedrichshafen has become the "driver of innovation for general aviation.” At Lake Constance, the focus is on the newest trends and world premieres and a highly knowledgeable audience (more than 60 percent of whom are pilots) fills the exhibition halls - an audience that, according to many exhibitors, is extremely well informed and ready to buy.
The start of the 25th global show for general aviation at Lake Constance was already record-breaking. A total of 707 exhibitors were on board, a full house befitting the 25th anniversary of the show. The largest general aviation trade show in Europe, the AERO is acknowledged as one of the most important in the world. Gliders, ultralights, powered aircraft and business jets are one hand, as are ultralight helicopters, gyrocopters and many suppliers. Electric aircraft demonstrated their power as part of an anniversary air show on Saturday. In the field of unmanned aviation, drones demonstrated their remote controlled aerobatic skills, showing what they could do over land and water in crisis situations.
Those who work hard also have to play hard: On the first day of the show, the place to be was the huge AERO 25th anniversary party in the Zeppelin hangar, right next door to the fairgrounds. "There is no better location for such a celebration than one that is under the auspices of Count Zeppelin,” said Messe Friedrichshafen CEO Klaus Wellmann and Roland Bosch, who were enjoying an emotional high after many of the approximately 900 guests, most representing exhibitors, gave very positive feedback. The international revelers enjoyed a stylish AERO party with artistic aviation performances, historic retrospectives, celebratory speeches and a buffet, and really let the champagne corks pop. After all, almost 40 years ago, everything started out small and modest, with just 14 exhibitors. Now, for the 25th AERO, 707 exhibitors from 40 countries have come together for an industry meeting has drawn attention around the world.
Comments by Exhibitors
Dr. Nicolas von Mende, CEO of Atlas Air Service AG:
"A surprisingly large number of our customers and other people interested in Embraer Executive Jets have come to Friedrichshafen. Our visitors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland prefer the AERO, because it is easy to get to and coming here in your own plane is simple and uncomplicated. It is the special closeness with customers and the easy-going, relaxed visitor atmosphere that make the AERO so well loved.”
Trevor Pegrum, Sales & Marketing Manager, Garmin:
"Garmin was hugely successful at the AERO 2017. Our stand was well frequented every day of the show. Our customers were eager to see our new products and innovations. Our seminars were extremely successful and the premiere of our pilot training conference was just as well attended. We are very much looking forward to the AERO 2018.”
Tom Perry, Vice President Sales for Europe, Textron Aviation:
"We have been regularly coming to Friedrichshafen for 25 years. For us, the AERO 2017 was a good event, we showed a broad spectrum of our products here. We like it that you can feel a great passion for the sport of flying here.” Douglas May, Textron Aviation, USA adds: "We are enthusiastic about being back at the AERO. Who else but the AERO could bring together exhibitors of ultralights, business jets and manufacturers?”
Horst Lieb, Managing Partner, Comco Ikarus:
"For me, the AERO is the most important trade show of the year. I notice over and over that I meet dealers and customers from all across Europe here. The show is held in high esteem internationally and has grown even stronger in this regard.”
Martin Eskildsen, Airmaster Propellers Ltd., New Zealand:
"Despite the great distances involved, we have been here at the AERO several times now. For us, the show opens doors in European aviation and we can present our propellers to customers and dealers. We are very happy here, the AERO is well organized, provides a nice setting, and we acquire new customers.”
Giovanni Langer, TECNAM, Italy:
"It is nice to be back at the show. The AERO is really a good show, because many manufacturers from around the world are represented here. This is very good place to meet people, identify customers, get to know new technologies and especially to promote your product.”
Raull Oreste, Marketing Cicare S. A., Argentina:
"We are here at the AERO because this is really a very interesting show for our company, and to introduce our product here. For us, the show represents a wonderful opportunity to get our foot in the door here. The AERO is the European meeting place for general aviation.”
Social Wall and media response
The response in national and international popular and industry media was also strong. All in all, 521 media representatives from 24 countries visited the AERO in Friedrichshafen. The situation in the Facebook and Instagram channels was similar. Especially the Social Wall, which was centrally located in the exhibition halls, attracted a lot of attention and inspired active engagement by visitors.
The AERO 2018
The next AERO will take place from April 18 - 21, 2018 at the exhibition grounds in Friedrichshafen. More information is available at www.aero-expo.com.
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