Confirmed Farnborough International Airshow Wont Ground Miamis
By Zachary S. Fagenson
The confirmation of existence of the 2012 Farnborough Air Show, held biennially near London, won’t ground plans for the inaugural Miami International Air Show, scheduled for the same year and targeting the same audience.
In an interview last week, Axis Americas managing partner and head of the Beacon Council’s aviation committee Jean-Michel Caffin said part of the reason the council, which is organizing the show, selected 2012 as the kickoff was because the Farnsborough show might be scaled down due to summer Olympics in London.
The show’s website confirms it’s to take place July 9 to 15 but doesn’t indicate whether it will be pared down due to the Olympics.
Regardless of how large or small the 2012 Farnborough show is, plans are still jetting ahead for the Miami show, which is to be on 54 acres adjacent to Homestead Air Reserve Base.
The five-day event, to be held every even-numbered year so as not to conflict with the Paris Air Show, is to be a commercial trade show that could attract 200,000 attendees, house more than 800 exhibits and generate up to $100 million in hotel reservations, day pass sales and parking, Beacon Council President Frank Nero said.
But with Farnborough confirmed, the agency has competition to secure exhibitors and convince industry professionals to attend two major shows in one year.
"If Farnborough is scaled down it helps," Mr. Caffin said. "As you know, the companies have to choose. They have large number of shows to go to, they have a set budget and they have to decide where they need to go."
Many companies have reduced show budgets and some — like Lockheed Martin during the most recent Farnborough show — opt not to attend each and every show.
Yet the Beacon Council said the first Miami air show will offer, as the first show of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, unprecedented access to Latin America, though it wouldn’t say exactly what the pitch is to potential participants.
"We think we have a very strong argument. We are still working with some of our partners in further defining that and will be directly approaching some of the folks in the industry and making that pitch," said James Kohnstamm, Beacon Council director of expansion, retention, recruitment and urban initiatives. But "at this time, we’ll keep that conversation private to be able to discuss" it with potential partners.