The proposal of moving the 12th Biennial Aero India 2019, scheduled to held in Bengaluru, has become a controversial issue. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was desirous that Uttar Pradesh host the event to promote the UP Defence corridor.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and other officials offered ambivalent statements, which added fuel to the fire. The Defence ministry could have settled the matter if it had announced the dates and venue for the next Aero India event.
As per the historical precedence, the even has been hosted by Bengaluru, since its inception 1996. This event has gained worldwide recognition gradually. Moreover, it follows the worldwide practice of retaining the sanctity of the location of International Air Shows, whether it is the Le Bourget in Paris (France), Farnborough in Hampshire (UK), Dubai, Singapore or the Biennial MAKS air show in Zhukovsky, Russia. The advantage of Bengaluru is that India’s Premier Aircraft Manufacturing Agency, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, is located here.
Those arguing for the change argue that the Defence Exhibition had changed venues in the past few years – from Delhi to Goa in 2017 and them Chennai earlier this year. This led to a lot of debate, but people had to accept that the Chennai event was a success. This also displayed the proposed defence corridor commencing from Chennai.
Changing the venues may present the overseas visitors a few things about the city hosting the event, thus offering them multiple options if they ever wanted to invest. But then changing the venue is the decision of the Defence Ministry with the state government having little say in it.