The 2019 Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Expo (AVALON 2019), held from Tuesday 26 February to Sunday 3 March, has broken exhibitor and trade day attendance records, with 698 participating companies, 161 official industry and government delegations and 38,952 attendances across the Tuesday to Thursday industry days.
Attendances across the entire event, held at Avalon Airport near Melbourne, Australia, totalled 171,830.
And while weekend hot weather softened public attendance figures compared with the 2017 event, the 132,878 public day attendances in 2019 were in line with the Airshow’s historical average.
Attendees came to do business, network and see the latest in aviation, aerospace and defence technology, including flying displays from Australia’s first two Australian based Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, the US Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth tactical fighter, the Australian airshow debut of the Pilatus PC-24 Super Versatile Jet and the first Australian airshow display of a Japan Air Self Defense Force aircraft, the Kawasaki C2 transport.
The fleet of 371 aircraft on display in the air and on the ground was a new record, as were the 2591 attendances at 36 associated industry conferences, seminars and briefings, which covered topics from airport development to business aviation, law enforcement aerial operations, defence aviation maintenance and unmanned systems.
Visiting delegations and guests included 15 service chiefs, 9 National Armament Directors and 24 Chief of Air Force representatives, from 30 countries. There were 94 military aircraft in attendance from six nations.
AVALON 2019 “firsts” included the inaugural Space Industry Association of Australia “Reaching for the Stars – Growing Australia’s Space Economy” conference and the first Australian Helicopter Industry Association “Rotortalk” conference.
The event also provided a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education platform for more than 1700 students throughout the week.
“As an international aerospace industry exposition, AVALON 2019 was a record‐breaker in both exhibitor numbers and trade day attendances, with a host of major industry announcements and significant international participation from a total of 37 countries,” said AVALON 2019 CEO Ian Honnery.
“Once again AVALON was a dynamic platform for interaction between industry, government, academia and defence. And once again it showcased Australian industry to the world, by bringing the world to Australia.
“As one of the largest single public events in the Australian calendar it was a standout success, offering the sheer excitement of seeing some of the world’s most spectacular modern and historic aircraft put through their paces right in front of the crowd.”
Mr Honnery said that ongoing support from the Royal Australian Air Force, Victorian State Government and the City of Geelong has contributed greatly to the event’s position as one of the world’s great airshows and global business events.
“The Royal Australian Air Force makes an enormous commitment to the airshow in aircraft and personnel, as do Navy and Army,” he said. “Together with enthusiastic support from the Victorian State Government and the City of Geelong, this has helped build AVALON as a signature international event, attracting senior civil aviation, air transport, aerospace and defence industry, military and government decision-makers from around the world.
“AVALON 2019 has also splendidly heralded the upcoming 2021 show, which is expected to break records again as a major platform for celebration of the Royal Australian Air Force’s 100th Anniversary.”