LANGKAWI: It’s on. Aeroplanes and fighter jets worldwide are landing at the airport here and warships and vessels of all sizes are coming in to berth at Resorts World Langkawi (RWL).
The 14th Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (Lima) 2017 is set to be bigger and better.
This island is bustling with activities as it shifts into final gear in preparations for the five-day biennial event which starts tomorrow.
With more than 500 maritime and aerospace companies from 36 countries taking part in Lima 2017, the exhibition this year is touted to be the biggest one yet.
There will be 103 aircraft for aerial and static displays and 61 vessels coming in exclusively for the exhibition.
Also in store to provide thrills to visitors are performances by four aerobatic teams – the world renowned Black Eagles of the Republic of Korea Air Force, the Indian Air Force’s helicopter display team Sarang, the Jupiter Aerobatic Team of the Indonesian Air Force and the Russian Air Force’s very own Russian Knights.
The Black Eagles and Sarang will be showing off their skills for the first time in Malaysia.
The Jupiter Aerobatic Team is back after its scheduled performance in 2015 did not pan out.
The team was ordered to return to Indonesia on the eve of Lima 2015 when two of its KT-1B Woongbi aircraft wings clipped each other during a rehearsal the previous day, resulting in a fiery crash.
Air show enthusiasts will be in for a treat as the Russian Knights, who were last here in Lima 2013, are returning to wow the crowd with their spanking new Flanker-Cs (Sukhoi Su-30SM) fighter jets.
Painted in white, blue and red, the performance in Lima 2017 will be the foreign debut for the newly-equipped team.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) will also be displayed.
They include the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator by the United States Air Force, the US Navy’s Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout, the Thales Fulmar UAV by Thales Group, and the AUV62-AT by SAAB.
Other events include the Asean Aviation Summit, Air Chiefs Confe-rence, Chief of Navy Roundtable Talks, the Asia-Pacific Heads of Maritime Safety Agencies Confe-rence and the Czech Defence Tech-nology Presentation.
The exhibition this year covers a space of 119,209sq m, a significant increase from 2015’s 104,209sq m.
The organisers are targeting 40,000 trade visitors and some 140,000 public visitors.
The exhibitions and displays for the aerospace segment will be held at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre (MIEC) while the maritime segment will take place at RWL.
The exhibitions and demonstrations are open to the public from 9am to 4pm on Friday and Saturday, the last two days of the exhibition.
The first three days are for delegates and trade visitors only.
The maritime and warship static exhibition at RWL, however, is open to the public beginning Wednesday, from 8am to 6.30pm.
Entrance to MIEC is RM10 per visitor while it is free at RWL.
Held biennially since 1991, Lima 2017 is jointly-organised by the Defence Ministry and EN Projects (M) Sdn Bhd, with the support of several ministries, Royal Malaysian Navy, Royal Malaysian Air Force, the police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Fire and Rescue Department, and the Royal Malaysian Customs.
For more information, log on to www.limaexhibition.com or www.facebook.com/lima.langkawi.