Thailand lays foundation for Asian edition of Farnborough airshow

Thailand is working to bring the Farnborough International Airshow to the country

Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau’s (TCEB) commission of a feasibility study on an Asian spinoff of the popular Farnborough International Airshow is now complete, placing Thailand closer to her goal of launching her own international airshow to emphasise the country’s aviation hub potential.

Farnborough International Airshow is a trade exhibition for the aerospace and defence industries, held in England every even year. Its 2018 edition drew 80,000 visitors and more than 1,500 exhibitors from across the world.

Thailand International Airshow will touch down in the country once U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport is completed

In an interview with TTGmice, Nichapa Yoswee, TCEB’s senior vice president – business, revealed that the idea of launching an international airshow in Thailand emerged when the bureau was looking for an impressive manner to inaugurate the opening of the new generation U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport, which forms an important part of the Aerotropolis project in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) development.

The Aerotropolis will speed Thailand towards its goal of making Thailand a hub for aviation MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul). To facilitate this, U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport is being upgraded to a commercial airport and an MRO facility, shared Nichapa.

Nichapa said: “Not only will the airshow amplify Thailand as the region’s MRO hub and bring attention to the Aerotropolis, it will also be a very good opportunity for the world to see Thailand’s business events capability.”

She recalled: “When we first approached Farnborough International (organiser of the event), they were sceptical. So I hired them to do some research. They did, and they came back with a different tone. This time, they said, “Yes, Thailand!”

Nichapa: confident in Thailand’s hosting ability of the airshow

During a press conference on July 31, Nichapa explained that the Thailand International Airshow feasibility study covered global overview, regional market potential, industry feedback, competitive landscape, Thailand’s EEC development and the government’s Thailand 4.0 initiative (which aviation and aerospace is part of), while providing recommendations for Thailand to stage the event and economic impacts.

Besides the feasibility study and domestic industry hearing, TCEB visited Farnborough International Airshow in UK in 2018 as well as Bahrain International Airshow and Paris Air Show in 2019 to get an overview of how to attract major airshow events to Thailand.

Nichapa said the action plan to stage Thailand International Airshow enhanced TCEB’s role as co-creator under its Thailand Redefine Your Business Events branding, which aims at generating business opportunities in the 12 industries under Thailand 4.0 economic model.

When asked when the Thailand International Airshow will happen, Nichapa said it would come soon after the completion of U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport in five years’ time.

“But before that, we will have soft launches and conventions for aerospace parts and manufacturing, and others,” she revealed.

As for how the Thailand International Airshow will set itself apart from other international airshows as well as those in the region, Nichapa said research on this was still being worked on by Farnborough.

“I have asked the team to spell out distinct differentiation for our airshow. We probably would like the airshow to also celebrate certain occasions in Thailand, not just to inaugurate U-Tapao Airport,” she said.

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