by Rohan Yung
The Selangor Aviation Show (SAS) marked its third edition from 7 to 9 September 2023, drawing an eclectic crowd to celebrate all aspects of aviation. Engineering students mingled with aviation enthusiasts, uniformed airmen paraded past international industry players, and potential buyers admired the latest offerings.
Notably, SAS 2023 broke records, boasting a significant increase in attendance, with 19,000 visitors compared to 10,500 in 2022. The static aircraft display also witnessed substantial growth, expanding from 30 aircraft in 2022 to an impressive 47 this year.
The aircraft on show were impressive in their range. There were of course sleek business jets, including Dassault’s Falcon 7X, Textron’s Cessna Citation Longitude, and Gulfstream’s G600.
Alongside were aircraft models which had their own stories, anecdotes, and personalities: for instance, the Piper Cherokee, which made a memorable appearance in the James Bond movie Goldfinger, and the Cessna Caravan which has been used for transporting baby elephants.
One aircraft, the GameBird, may have been a part of the static display, but it also came to life to perform an aerobatic show-looping and pirouetting in the sky above the attendees. No less impressive was the ample evidence of a healthy ecosystem surrounding the aviation industry here.
The jet-setting lifestyle was represented by flying clubs such as Wings over Asia; there was a lot of buzz around flying academies such as Layang Layang; agencies affiliated with the government made their presence felt and thereby indicated Malaysia’s commitment to investing in this sector; while companies involved with testing, maintenance, and spare parts demonstrated the depth and quality of the services available.
It is no wonder, then, that YAB Dato’ Seri Amirudin Bin Shari, Chief Minister of Selangor, was confidently able to declare that Selangor had firmly established itself as ‘a beacon for aerospace manufacturing, research, and engineering services’.