The International Aeronautical Fair F-Air Colombia, the second most important in Latin America, opened this Wednesday its ninth edition with the United States as guest of honor and with the celebration of the centenary of the Colombian Air Force (FAC) as the central event.
Under the slogan "The sky is closer" and with the expectation of receiving more than 65,000 visitors the curtain of the air show was raised, which will be extended until next Sunday with the participation of 16 countries and more than 200 exhibitors.
"Welcome to the F-Air, event worthy of the centenary of your Air Force and the country through which we fly, train and fight to win," said the commander of the FAC, General Ramsés Rueda, during the inauguration.
He added that this event, which every two years hosts Rionegro (northwest), began as a "modest initiative" of an air festival that ended up becoming a "continental reference" fair.
The commander pointed out that for this edition of the fair, the scenario of "ambitious business" and important alliances, as well as a "showcase of capabilities and opportunities", the Colombian skies will sail the Thunderbirds (US aerobatic flight group), which They arrived with their F-16s, in addition to the Arpía 51 aerobatic team with AH-60 helicopters.
At the opening of the event, organized by the Civil Aeronautics (Aerocivil), the Air Force and operated by Corferias, the defense minister, Guillermo Botero, focused his speech on highlighting the work of the FAC, which on Saturday will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a ceremony and aerial magazine.
"Our Colombian Air Force is one of the most beloved and recognized institutions in the world," said Botero, referring to his "high operability" to face the "threats" of drug trafficking and terrorism.
"(Their pilots) delivered blunt blows to the illegal armed structures that were seriously decimated by the air power of the nation," the minister stressed.
For the director of the Aerocivil, Juan Carlos Salazar, this fair will also allow to celebrate that in "1919 this dream began to be constituted" that today has flying in the country 72 airlines, between national and foreign.
Regarding the development of the four days of the event, he said that the expectations as organizers are high with the 400 business appointments that have been agreed and the participation of 220 exhibitors, as well as a full academic agenda.
Salazar revealed that in 2017 the F-Air ended with a record of 36 air shows, 60,000 attendees and an expectation of business for "77 million dollars for the aeronautical sector."
For its part, the Colombian transport minister, Ángela María Orozco, said that this meeting reflects the "dynamism and growth" of the Colombian air sector, which intends to continue its development.
In this regard, he said that the 2030 strategic plan for civil aviation contemplates "investments for almost 4 billion pesos", about 1,250 million dollars, for airport infrastructure and development of issues related to safety and technology.
On the fair, in addition to highlighting the centenary of the FAC and civil aviation, said that will allow participants and visitors "nurture" experiences from other countries, especially the United States as a special guest, in different areas and "explore new agreements and both international and commercial links. "
The participating delegations include officials from Mexico, the Netherlands, Israel, Panama, Russia, Peru, Spain, the Dominican Republic, the United Kingdom, El Salvador, Uruguay and Venezuela.
(tagsToTranslate) centennial (t) Force (t) Aerea (t) aeronautica (t) Colombian