Bigger and Better Dubai Airshow 2021 Provides an Excellent Reconnect Opportunity

By Sri Krishna

Defence Industry

New Delhi: It is all systems go for the world’s most exciting airshow which kicks off for five days from November 14 in Dubai which is now becoming a hub for a wide range of events from Airshow to sporting events.

The government is leaving no stone unturned to make this event which is one of the biggest at a time when the world has virtually battled the deadly pandemic COVID 19.

Emphasising the importance of Dubai Airshow 2021, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, described the event as “an opportunity to reconnect the aviation, aerospace, space and defence industries.”

Welcoming the global aerospace community to what promises to be an unforgettable experience, the organizers say that the show would be packed with everything you would expect to see at a global airshow and more.

This  edition features exhibitors from over twenty countries having pavilions with a stunning aircraft display of over 160 commercial, military, and private jets including the latest Boeing 777x, Bombardier’s Global 7500 and many more.

The Dubai Airshow 2021 is about the Talent, Technologies and Resources that the UAE has built over the years. Among the global OEMs, Boeing has a very big pavilion and visitors and the business community would get to view the latest in the field of aerospace technology of this American company.

It will showcase the resilience and agility of the aerospace and defence sectors while playing an instrumental role in bringing the industry together to access invaluable market insights and business opportunities.

Other exhibitors expected to attend include American firms Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies; France’s Airbus and Dassault; Emirati firm Mubadala; and Brazil’s Embraer.

The Airshow is expected to see some crucial announcements from the UAE and other countries  at the glittering show. The show which is expected to draw large number of visitors and business executives would be featuring forums on artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. Despite the aviation industry suffering a massive setback due to Covid 19, and is now on the road to recovery, the show is expected to provide the right kind of tonic to pep this crucial sector.

UAE defence conglomerate EDGE is the show’s technology partner. The United Arab Emirates-based conference is organized by Tarsus F&E LLC Middle East and is expected to host more than 20 country pavilions, 160 aircraft displays and over 1,200 exhibitors.

“The event will support the UAE’s ‘Make It In The Emirates’ initiative, showcasing the services provided by UAE entities to global experts and in the industry, and encouraging collaboration between different parties,” the organizers said.

The 17th Dubai Airshow will also feature a new advisory board that will not only assist with the actual event but also try to address challenges facing regional sectors. The board consists of high-level industry, government and academic members.

The show will for the  first time see participation by Israel, the Czech Republic, Australia and Belgium, each having a pavilion. Israel’s participation comes after the country and some of its neighbours signed the Abraham Accords, aimed at improving diplomatic relations.

The show will see the participation of Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries and Elbit Systems; Singapore’s Kelley Aerospace; American companies Accenture and M4 Engineering; Europe-based business Eurosam; and Emirati companies NAFFCO and G42.

The organizers said this edition will introduce the brand-new conference stage TechXplore, which will show how technology is helping reboot aviation and changing the entire flying experience. “As part of the conference, the aviation industry’s leading tech minds will discuss the role of 5G, AI and machine learning, cybersecurity, and automation technologies in the development of the industry,” the organizers said.

New forums this year will focus on trending aerospace topics like advanced aerial mobility, sustainability, as well as space and air traffic and cargo.

Another new feature is the dedicated startup event VISTA, co-hosted by Boeing and AE Industrial Partners through their investment in the HorizonX venture capital scheme which was described as “the ultimate platform for innovators, creators and market disruptors to display the latest technologies and play a part in accelerating the future of the aerospace and defence industries.”

It was a proud moment for India ahead of the show as the Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent was inducted (5 Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) Dhruvs of the Sarang Team, 10 BAE Hawk 132s of the Suryakiran Team and 3 LCA Tejas) for participation in the Show to be held at the Al Maktoum International Airport. The induction was supported by the IAF’s C-17 Globemaster IIIs and C-130J Super Hercules.

The IAF has been invited by the Government of UAE to participate with the Sarang and Suryakiran Aerobatics teams. These teams will be performing along with some of the best aerobatics and display teams in the world, including the Saudi Hawks, Russian Knights and the UAE’s Al Fursan. In addition, the IAF’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas shall be part of the aerobatics and static displays during the show.

The contingent received a warm welcome on arrival and the teams are now preparing for the opening ceremony.

For lovers of aircraft, they would get to see over 90 different models including the Dhruv, HawkMK-132 (twin concept tandem seat) and Tejas of the Indian Air Force.

This year, for the first time, Dubai Airshow will gather tech leaders, innovators and thought leaders to discuss the tech-empowered future of the aviation industry focusing on 4 technology trends – 5G, AI, Cyber Security & Automation.

The aviation digital landscape continues to expand constantly making it difficult not just to manage risk but also to gain insights into the potential threats. The efficiency of operations that comes as with the adoption of emerging technologies such as AI, 5G, Automation also exposes the aviation systems to a multitude of complex cyber-attacks.

The wide range of panel discussions slated during the five-day event are indeed informative. There is the one on developing and implementing airtight defences against cyber threat. The discussion is expected to throw light on identifying what is truly critical and how air transport industry can collaborate to monitor, detect and manage cyber risks.

An interesting discussion would be on “Today vs Tomorrow: What does the future of cyber security in aviation look like ?”

With increasing use of Drones for a wide range of activities from military to domestic use and it becoming a growing industry worldwide, the topic, “ Are we ready to integrate drones to our airspace?” indeed would provide immense information.

The recent Dubai Drone laws open a world of opportunities for UAV manufactures, UTM providers and end users. This session will assess if regulators are ready to welcome the drone decade, and what supporting infrastructure is required to create a seamless sky.