The aerospace industry is looking forward with great expectations to the International Aerospace Exhibition (ILA), which will take place in just under three weeks (June 22 to 26) in Schönefeld. It will be the first ILA as a face-to-face event since 2018. In view of the war in Ukraine, issues related to rearmament and security came more into focus. This became clear at a press conference of the industry association BDLI on Thursday in Berlin, where industry representatives linked safety issues with the main topic “sustainability”, which was actually planned.
“Until recently we had a one-sided discussion, defense and armaments were considered unsustainable. Now we have more reason to take a more balanced view,” said BDLI President Michael Schöllhorn, who is CEO of Airbus Defense and Space in his main job. “Without security there is no democracy, no trust and no sustainability,” he added. “The issues of ecology and safety belong together.”
With a special fund of 100 billion euros, the government wants to reorganize the Bundeswehr in particular in the coming years. The industry will also benefit from the money, said Schöllhorn. The ILA will show which developments would be driven forward with the funds. Schöllhorn cited aircraft, cyber security and, above all, the military and civil use of satellites as examples.
The BDLI President, whose association has been organizing the show together with Messe Berlin for decades, reported “increased interest from some American manufacturers.” The F-35 fighter jet from Lockheed Martin, which the federal government wants to purchase, will be at the ILA be seen, as well as various helicopter models.
When asked whether additional security measures had to be taken at the trade fair and whether he expected espionage, Schöllhorn said: “What Russian spies can see there, they know anyway.”
Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla, President of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), added: “We would like to see schoolchildren and students instead of spies.” Nobody has an airplane or a satellite at home. “It’s a great thing to be able to touch these devices or sit in them,” she said.