ILA 2014

Berlin, 23-25 May 2014


The Internationale Luft-und Raumfahrt Ausstellung, or ILA, is an aviation trade show held in Berlin every two years, much like other such illustrious events like Le Bourget, Farnborough and Dubai. Like other European tradeshows though, the event has seen massive changes in recent years, making it very different from other such shows around the world.


ILA is much like other tradeshows in the sense that it combines a large inside exhibition area with lots of aircraft out on the ramp. Whereas at shows like Dubai or Bahrein, those are mainly the latest in military and civilian hardware, at European shows the modern hardware has often made space for historic aircraft. At ILA, there are also plenty of classic aircraft in the flying display, which is also related to strict noise regulations at the site at Berlin Brandenburg airport. These regulations also mean that the German air power demonstration is performed with no afterburners at all.


Due to the lack of other large airshows in Germany, ILA also attracts quite a few neighbouring countries’ militaries to take part in the display, joining German military displays and the classic aircraft displays. The German military is also very prominent on the showground with almost all types in their inventory on static display with lots of aircrews at hand to meet with the crowd. In addition, the US military also makes an effort to contribute to the static display in a striking manner.


The crowdline at ILA is long and perhaps even more interesting for photographers, you do not have to take up station early in the morning and remain at the fence all day, but you can easily move about between displays, as the crowd comes and goes at the fence, depending on their interest. This makes it a more relaxing experience than some other shows. Distance to the display line is comparable to Belgium and France.



Getting to and from the show is easy with dedicated public transport from Berlin and nearby train stations. There’s also plenty of catering to make sure you never have to get hungry or thirsty dotted around the showground. Commentary is in German, Russian and English, the latter provided by Tim Callaway, the editor of Aviation Classics.


ILA is easy to combine with a trip to the German capital Berlin, so if the opportunity ever presents itself, make sure to take it with both hands!