Bangalore: From a modest beginning in 1993 as Avia-India, where only a few aviation assets were displayed, the Aero India has today become Asia's biggest air show.
The bi-annual event, which is held at the Air Force Station, Yelahanka for five days, ranks as one of the largest attended air shows in the world with about 2.75 lakh visitors expected this year.
According to the department of defence production (DDP), the online request for registration of the general visitors this year has already exceeded the 1.75 lakh mark, compared to 75,000 in 2009.
There are 675 exhibitors in this edition registering a 16 per cent increase over the last edition that had 581 in all. As with all previous editions, this time also international exhibitors score over the domestic ones in terms of participation.
This time, the figure is 380 and 295 for international and domestic respectively.
With 30 countries set to participate this year, there is a three-fold plus increase in the number of delegates, both official and business.
The USA leads the delegation list with 250, followed by Germany at 35, Italy at 10, and 35 from the remaining participating countries. Based on the online request for business passes, 70,000 business visitors and delegates will throng the venue, twice as much in 2009.
There are eight country pavilions and 63 chalets at the venue. Of the 100 aircraft participating in the air show, 27 belong to the civil aviation sector.
Barring Avia-India 1993, the growth in Aero-India since 1998 to 2005 was marginal. It began showing a quantum increase in the gross exhibition area only from the 2007 edition.
While it hovered between the 7,000-18,000 sqm mark from 1998 to 2005, it sharply rose to 30,000 sqm in 2007 and 44,000 sqm in 2009. This year, the organizers have increased the gross area to 75,000 sqm, a significant 70 per cent increase over 2009.