The ILA Berlin Air Show (German: Internationale Luft- und Raumfahrtausstellung (ILA)) combines a major trade exhibition for the aerospace and defence industries with a public airshow. It is held every even year at the new Berlin ExpoCenter Airport next to the Berlin Brandenburg Airport in Schönefeld, Brandenburg, 18 km southeast of Berlin, Germany. The most recent ILA Berlin Airshow was held in April 2018.
Established in 1909, it claims to be the world's oldest airshow, and it is among the largest and most important aerospace trade fairs today. According to the organisers Messe Berlin GmbH, in 2012 the Berlin Airshow attracted 125,000 professional visitors and 105,000 members of the general public, with 3,600 journalists from 65 countries also attending.
The format is similar to the Paris Airshow in France and the Farnborough International Airshow in Britain, the other major events in the European airshow calendar. The Berlin event starts with three professional days closed to the general public, and then on Friday, Saturday and Sunday the public are allowed in.
For five days the Berlin/Brandenburg region was a hub and platform for exchanging views on the future of aerospace. Taking as its slogan 'Pioneering Aerospace', it gathered representatives of international industry, politics, the armed forces and science. Around 550 exhibitors from 29 countries presented a wide range of high-tech products and research and development projects. Some 260 speakers discussed the latest aerospace topics on five stages. Key issues included climate-neutral flight, military security and the benefits of space flight for humanity. There was keen public interest in the event - tickets for the general public on the open weekend were quickly sold out.
Boeing highlighted its industry-leading portfolio of commercial, defence and support services and showcased advanced systems and capabilities with a focus on sustainable aerospace. The company's presence at the show included its commercial airliners, along with advanced defence capabilities such as a heavy-lift helicopter, maritime patrol aircraft, advanced fighters and trainers, and autonomous systems. Boeing exhibited the 777X, 737 MAX and 777-8F, in addition to the EA-18G Growler and T-7A Advanced Pilot Training System.
Leonardo showcased how technology can play a major role in national security and demonstrated how the company can assist in making aviation more economically and environmentally sustainable.
Airbus's static display featured state-of-the-art aircraft, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and helicopters. Visitors were able to explore the A350-900 MSN 2 (Airspace Explorer) and the oversize cargo transporter BelugaXL. The static display also featured state-of-the-art helicopters such as the H145M, H225, an NH90 replica and drones such as Luna NG or DT25 that were used in recent manned-unmanned teaming demonstrations. Airbus military aircraft were also be in action on the German Luftwaffe display, both on ground (Eurofighter and A400M) and in the air (Eurofighter, A400M, A330 MRTT and Tornado).
This year, around 60 aircraft of all sizes and categories were displayed at ILA. There were the "giants of the sky", an A380 airliner and Beluga transporter from Airbus, military aircraft including a Lockheed Martin F-35 multi-role combat aircraft, a Boeing CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter, as well as mock-ups of innovative devices such as the Volocopter flying taxi, the fully electric Rolls Royce Spirit of Innovation, and the hydrogen-powered Apus i-2.