Bachelet opens main air show in Latinamerica

Marzo de 2006

Chilean president Michelle Bachelet opened Monday in Santiago the XVI Air and Space International Fair, FIDAE, one of the world’s leading events of the aerospace industry which this year attracted over 300 companies from 40 different countries.

Defence Minister Vivianne Blanlot praised the benefits of the air exhibit for the Chilean economy underlining it has also become “a significant trade platform for the world aerospace industry”.
FIDAE’s CEO Benito Merino recalled that the fair was born in 1980 to celebrate the Chilean Air Force half century and has now become the most relevant exhibit of its kind in Latinamerica.

“We’ve become one of the world’s five leading air and space exhibits with the latest defense innovations and advances in the civil and commercial air industry”, he stressed.

This year’s edition has a super star: the US manufactured F 16 fighter bombers, recently incorporated to the Chilean Air Force.

The exhibit for the first time has been located in Santiago’s main airport and will extend until next Sunday April 2.

Several air forces have announced the display of aircrafts. The US Air Force will show the F-16 Fighting Falcons; F 15 Eagle; B 1 Lancer; Hercules C-130; KC Stratotanker and a KC-10 Extender.

Brazil’s delegation includes Brazilian built AMX fighters; T 27 Tucano training craft and Argentina will display the EC-135 and AT-63 Pampa.

The French Armée de l’Air is arriving with Mirage 2000; Stratotanker; Hercules and the C-160 Transall while the Royal Air Force is scheduled to display Tornados and Hercules.

Airbus Industries and Boeing the two mega competitors of commercial air industry have arrived with their latest models.

A Space pavilion will show the latest advances in Astronautics and Astronomy. A huge solar system and a replica of the world’s largest telescope, VLT in Antofagasta, will complement the exhibit plus a scaled model of NASA’s Spirit still in Mars.

Last year’s FIDAE attracted over 150.000 visitors and an estimated 3.500 air and space industry representatives and experts.