• Covid-19 didn’t play villain unlike in the 2020 edition
  • Flying display definitely gives wanting for more feeling

By Sangeeta Saxena

Hyderabad. 24 March 2022. It is the first morning at Wings India 2022 and the feel at the Old Airport Begumpet is of excitement and élan not of dull and desolate like its previous edition in 2020. The world seems to have understood that it needs to exist alongside Corona virus and fear of it seemed just non-existent except for masked smiles and sanitised hands.

It was also the first time when Air India and its Maharaja were not welcoming one and all at this much in news civil aviation show . Regulars definitely missed the presence of Air India which seemed conspicuous by its absence both in the indoor space and on the tarmac.

Surprisingly Day 1 was not the inaugural day technically as the Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia was not there to formally open the show , so making Day2 the politically abuzz day leaving the expectancy and the vibrancy in the air intact. The crowds started teeming since the 8AM and the participation was more than reasonable.

The  international industry  showed up in good number and the presence of the aircraft manufacturers like Airbus, Boeing, De Havilland, ATR and Embraer along with the engine makers CFM, Rolls Royce , GE and Pratt & Whitney , not to forget logistics companies like SITA , FedEx, Roter, L3 Harris Commercial Aviation and the conferences both industrial and media reiterated that on a buyer-seller platform both seemed to be present unlike last time when the buyer was actually missing.

Indian industry was the cynosure of all eyes and as always Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)Pawan Hans Limited and National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) attracted the maximum attention both indoors and outdoors. Airlines like Indigo were looming large with their huge spaces indoors . Indian aerospace majors in the private sector were mostly present showcasing the latest products and technologies. Adani, GMR, Maini Global Aerospace, Bird Group, NOIDA International Airport and  many more Indian private companies  were there displaying their products. MROs both big and small led by the Indian leader Air Works were a strong presence at the show. Pilot Schools, Air Hostesses Academies, universities and the surprise entry NALSAR University of Law which has a Centre for Aerospace Laws, represented the academia. Major discussions at the show are centred around MROs, training and skills development. Good theoretically but how much is practically incorporated has to be seen.

What left the crowds wanting for more was the flying display which had the Sarangs saving the grace. An airshow without metallic birds flying in the city skies leaves the audience dis-satisfied. The static displays had also very few aircraft to create the aura. HAL with its LUH, ALH and Hindustan 228, CSIR-NAL with its Hansa New Generation (NG) aircraft, Airbus with an A350 and a H-145, Embraer with it’s Profit Hunter and some drones saved the day. Boeing for the first time was not on Begumpet runway. Missed the Air India Dream Liner and surprisingly even the Air India Express.

The roundtable/panel discussion on Helicopter Industry, Business Aviation, Krishi UDAN, Golden Age of Drones, India – US Roundtable with AMCHAM, Drone Demonstration, Inaugural Session: [email protected]: New Horizon for Aviation Industry, Global CEOs Forum, Wings India Awards 2022 ceremony etc all will add glamour and intent to the show.

So overall Wings India’s wings seemed to flutter and not soar but are flying to a recovery after the drubbing it received from the COVID-19 last time. Hope both FICCI and MOCA get a message and improve upon a lot of things and fill a lot of missing gaps in their planning stage,  in the next show if they want Wings India to match well with the global aviation shows.