Next year’s Farnborough International Airshow will be going back to its roots with a focus on inspiring the next generation of pilots, engineers and innovators, and ending the public weekend displays.

The seven-day global aerospace, defence and space trade event was originally industry-only but opened its doors in 1948 to the public as a way to demonstrate how wartime taxes had been invested.

From July 2020, the show is to become a five-day trade-only event, although organisers are planning to build on the traditional Futures Day to make Friday 24 July an engaging show for the next generation of engineers and innovators.

Bringing STEM to life

Enabling the public to see more of the people, products and processes that underpin the global aerospace, defence and space industries will bring STEM subjects to life in a meaningful way, the organisers say.

A statement from Farnborough International Ltd said that the refocused show format: “enhances the Airshow’s valuable role as an inspirational event which encourages talented young people attracted to aerospace, defence and space to focus on developing skills needed to enter rewarding careers in these industries.

“Engaging the next generation with the right skills and qualifications is vital to securing the long-term success of organisations that make a valuable contribution to prosperity,”

Tim Peake, European Space Agency Astronaut, has previously called Futures Day one of the most important days of the show, highlighting its importance in proving that that careers in aerospace are achievable.

Connecting the industry

The show, which grew out of the  RAF Airshow at Hendon, has always aimed to connect aerospace businesses globally and provide exposure for innovative small and medium firms. Attracting new talent into the industry is a key part of this role.

The biennial show is one of the world’s most important aerospace trade events. In 2018, it hosted more than 1,500 exhibitors and welcomed 80,000 visitors representing 112 countries.

There will be an air display on each day of the airshow, showcasing the latest commercial and military aircraft.

Gareth Rogers, CEO of Farnborough International, commented: “For our exhibitors and trade visitors, the focus is on business and accessing the talent they need to sustain global competitiveness.”

In 2018, the UK’s aerospace sector turned over £35 billion, directly employed 123,000 people and generated £30 billion through exports.

Farnborough International Airshow runs from Monday 20 July to Friday 24 July 2020.

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