Farnborough Airshow Goes Virtual with FIA Connect

Paul Everitt
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Organizers of the Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) are staging a virtual version of the usual in-person event, which had to be canceled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

FIA Connect, which will be held during what would have been the week of the biennial show (July 20 to 24), will include a busy program of webinars and conference sessions.

As of July 1, participating companies included Collins Aerospace, Rolls-Royce, Boeing, BAE Systems, Uber Elevate, Air bp, Pratt & Whitney, Cap Gemini, Ernst and Young, Deloitte, and DSTL. More firms are expected to be confirmed shortly for what is the first time a major international air show has been presented online.

FIA’s parent company, the UK aerospace and defense trade association ADS, will have a strong presence during the online event and its CEO, Paul Everitt, will be a keynote speaker at the opening ceremony on July 20. The group is organizing several Aerospace Growth Partnership webinars, addressing topics including the future of the aerospace industry, zero-emission aircraft, innovation in response to Covid-19, sustainable aviation, women in defense, the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation program, women in aviation and aerospace, and supply chain recovery plans.

“This is about supporting an industry that is in difficulty and we felt it needed a voice,” FIA chief executive Gareth Rogers told AIN. “We wanted people to come together from around the globe to talk through the issues they are facing.”

On July 23, FIA will hold the second edition of its Global Urban Air Summit. This will focus on the development and service entry of electric aircraft for urban air mobility and other applications.

PA Consulting will be announcing the findings of its new report on sustainable aviation fuel in a July 20 webinar. It will present its recommendations for how the fuel can be brought to market in the UK as part of the wider plan to reduce aviation’s carbon footprint.

Other key features of FIA Connect will include an online version of the Farnborough show’s popular Meet the Buyer service through which companies can connect with prospective partners and clients throughout the aerospace supply chain. On July 24, there will be the Farnborough Friday event to encourage the next generation of potential aviation professionals to consider joining the industry.

“We want to contribute to addressing the global skills gap,” said Rogers. “The fact is that young people, in particular, are not as engaged with the industry as we would like and Farnborough Friday can also bring the key STEM subjects to life for students, who will hear inspirational speakers and get practical advice.”

Online registration for FIA Connect is free and opened on June 30.

During FIA Connect, the AIN editorial team will be providing extra industry news coverage in a special Mid-Year Aerospace & Air Transport Report available at AINonline. Anyone registered for AINalerts or Air Transport Perspective newsletters will also receive special daily reports from the event. A flip-through digital edition of the Mid-Year Aerospace & Air Transport Report will be distributed at the end of FIA Connect.

Farnborough Airshow Goes Virtual with FIA Connect