By Nasuha Badrul Huzaini
AVIATION was one of the most badly-affected industries when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world three years ago due to flying restrictions and travel bans imposed the world over. In Malaysia, several airline companies had their management restructured and laid off their manpower, leaving thousands of highly trained and talented people jobless.
Bleak situations, however, tend to come with silver linings. As current trends show, businesses have sprung back up, many stronger than before having had the benefit of time to re-learn and re-strategise.
The multi-billion ringgit aviation industry too, has bounced back and with a likelihood of soaring, as people, tired of being placed under lockdowns, start to venture out into the world again. On the state level, the Selangor government is slated to host the second edition of its air show — the Selangor Aviation Show 2022 (SAS 2022) — from September 8 to 10 to further strengthen the aviation industry in the country.
Selangor Journal speaks to state executive councillor for investment, industry and trade Dato’ Teng Chang Khim about the upcoming air show.
The second instalment of the event that will be held at the SkyPark Regional Aviation Centre (SkyPark RAC Subang) aims to secure a total of RM700 million worth of transactions.
Teng said that this target is a whopping jump from the RM100 million in transactions recorded last year.
“In fact, as of now, even though the event has yet to start, we have already achieved RM500 million worth of transactions from the industry players.
“In addition to that, 11 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) have been scheduled to be inked during the three-day event, which would contribute to our target of the transaction value as well,” he said in a recent interview at his office.
Take to the skies
As the only business aviation show in the region, SAS 2022 has come back bolder than last year, taking over 38,000 square metres of exhibition space that spans two hangars at the SkyPark RAC Subang.
Organised by Invest Selangor Berhad, the event aims to attract at least 8,000 visitors. Raja Muda of Selangor Tengku Amir Shah is scheduled to launch the event, and Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari will be in attendance.
Teng said seven countries have already confirmed their participation and 65 booths and four pavilions have been fully taken up by 39 local and international companies.
“The tarmac sections within the SkyPark RAC area will showcase around 26 static displays of aircraft and helicopters, including luxury private planes. Among the participating aircraft are Falcon 8X, Cessna Citation, Bombardier, Boeing, Hawker, Airbus and Piaggio Avanti.
“I am confident that the event will be more lively and exciting this year as we also provide an opportunity for visitors to go onboard the light aircrafts and helicopters. The pilot will take them for sightseeing around the Shah Alam air space. Though this is a paid activity, the fee is affordable. “For those who want to enjoy such an experience, they are welcome to visit SAS 2022,” he said, adding that there will also be activities planned for children.
According to Teng, 40 seminar sessions will also take place throughout the three-day event and they will be held concurrently in three venues in the area.
“The seminars will focus on three aspects — aviation-related products and services, education and training, as well as how to be an aviation entrepreneur.
“For the youth group, they should take advantage of this event to get firsthand insights if they want to look for career opportunities in the aviation industry or with the Royal Malaysian Air Force,” Teng added.
The air show was first held in November last year, with the event managing to attract up to RM100 million in investments. The event also saw 12 MOUs signed between the aerospace industry’s subsectors.
This article first appeared in the Selangor Journal monthly September edition, published on September 5, 2022.