Apart from Bangalore, the Centre is considering Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai as alternative locations

Bangalore: Even as the Chief Secretary of Karnataka TM Vijay Bhaskar urged authorities to make Bangalore — an aerospace hub — a permanent venue for the biennial Aero India, organisers are yet to decide on the venue. Though venue of the next edition of Aero India used to be announced before the conclusion of the event in the past, the practice was discontinued in the previous edition.

Speaking on the sidelines of the valedictory of Aero India, Commander PK Bhattacharya, Officer on Special Duty, Department of Defence Production, said the venue for the next Aero India will be announced shortly. Replying to a question, he said the announcement is expected before or during the next edition of Defence Expo, scheduled for 2020. Officials of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, who managed the 12th edition of show, did not comment on the issue. 

Sources said though the government has decided on the venue for the next Aero India, they were yet to declare it. Apart from Bangalore, the Centre is considering Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai as alternative locations.

The push to change the venue from Bangalore has been on since the run-up to the 10th edition of Aero India in 2015. As the then Defence Minister was Manohar Parrikar, there was a major push for Aero India to be shifted to Goa. However, the initiative fizzled out, with the idea facing stiff opposition from locals there opposing taking over their land for setting up the infrastructure required.

Lately, there has been an unconfirmed push for the event to be moved to Lucknow’s Bakshi Ka Talab Air Force base. Moving the event away from Bangalore is being justified by the massive infrastructure growth in the city. Conducting aerobatics near areas that once were open land, but is now occupied by residential buildings, is considered dangerous. 

On the eve of the show, two Surya Kiran Hawks crashed metres away from residences, with one house sustaining partial damage.