HYDERABAD: Sunday, the final day of the third edition of the India Aviation-2012 attracted more number of visitors compared to the previous day but the number of complaints and curses only multiplied! The visitors had every reason to complain. Of the 22 aircraft supposed to be on display, only seven remained defeating the very purpose of flocking to the Begumpet airport.
Dhanalakshmi, a house-wife from Prakash Nagar, who arrived along with her three-year-old daughter, fumed, “The arrangements are so horrible that I don’t know where to go and ask for help. Everybody is equally lost as nobody knows what to do after they come here!” Having come all the way in hot weather, she pointed out that there were no shelters.
Deepika, a Class IX student of the St Joseph’s High School, felt the last edition was well organised. “This is a flop. I would have liked it, had a few officials given us a guided tour or at least if there were some at the chalets to interact with us,” she said.
There was one moment, though, that infused some excitement into the crowd. In a pleasant surprise, the Chief Minister landed at the airport in his chopper around 12.30 p.m. Quite a good number of people rushed to see his chopper and Kiran Kumar Reddy too obliged them with a wave of the hand. “At least my `200 did not go in vain. I could see the CM walk out of the really cool helicopter. This is the first time I have seen a chopper land,” said Ravi Kiran, an engineering student from Malla Reddy College of Engineering.
A few aviation students from the Andhra Pradesh Aviation Academy (APAA) too returned disappointed but some of them doubted if the air show had duped one and all. Achyut Kumar, a trainee technician at the Kingfisher and an ex-student of the APAA, said, “I have been visiting the show since the first edition and I have been following the developments here. What I am confused about is whether the Boeing Dreamliner 787-8 series was really displayed or if it was the 777 series! One, because of the height of the aircraft and two, because of the engine. When I went inside the cockpit, the engine just looked like that of a 777, exactly like what I saw on Google. And Air India was so much all over the plane, the Boeing print was hardly seen.”
His friend Yashovardhan, who is an aircraft maintenance engineering student from APAA, compared the show with its first edition, “When the A-380 had come in 2008, there was a water-cannon welcome, which is very interesting for people to see. But, this time Boeing had come for the very first time and there was nothing of that sort. I would have loved to see it.” Perhaps, he will have to wait for the next edition for that.