ILA Berlin

8-13 June 2010


The Internationale Luft und Raumfahrt Ausstellung, popularly known as ILA, can lay claim to being the world’s oldest airshow, starting in 1909 in Frankfurt as the Internationale Luftschiff Ausstellung, or International Airship Show. Nowadays, it is one of the world’s largest aviation trade shows, with participants from across the globe.


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It’s organized every two years at Berlin Schoenefeld international airport. This is a busy international airport and will become even more so when reconstruction is completed in 2011, when it will become Berlin’s only international airport and change name to Berlin Brandenburg International.

Regular airport traffic creates a serious challenge for the flying displays, as they have to be fitted inbetween scheduled passenger flights and often perform far away from the crowd to make space for take-offs and landings at the airport. Noise pollution is another particular problem at ILA Berlin as the show can only have a limited number of noisy acts per day. On Saturday, with the German air power demo in the programme, it used up its noise coefficient quite rapidly. This issue often leads to cancellations of star items, which in turn leads to disappointment among visitors.



Unfortunately, Airbus could not spare their new A400 transport aircraft an entire week, so the plane only appeared during the trade days. This meant Airbus’ main show piece was the massive A380 passenger plane, which entered service with the German airline Lufthanse the weekend before the show.
Russia, which used to support ILA very strongly, was also notable by its absence with real aircraft in 2010.


One of the talking points at ILA was making aircraft environmentally friendly and aircraft manufacturer Diamond presented one of its DA42 recreational aircraft which flies on new biological fuel made from algae.


Switzerland was ILA’s partner nation this year, though oddly, Pilatus, Switzerland’s successful aircraft manufacturer, had no aircraft in the flying display.


ILA is a major event for the aviation industry and always attracts lots of media attention. In 2010, trade was in excess of 14 billion Euro and over 230.000 visitors flocked to the show. Here then is a look at the International Air and Space Exhibition 2010.


ILA is a difficult show to love though because of the limitations of performing at an active international airport and with regards to noise. The question remains what this trade show will look like when it is organized again in 2012, with a completely new layout when the current location is fully operational as Berlin Brandenburg International airport.