The large-scale AERO Friedrichshafen general aviation expo in Germany, to be held April 1 to 4, 2020, has been postponed in the wake of challenges associated with the COVID-19 virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus. Other US-based aviation events, such as the Aircraft Electronics Association convention in Nashville, and the Sun-n-Fun Fly-In, are apparently proceeding as scheduled in late March and early April 2020.
According to a press release delivered by AERO on March 6, because of “current developments in regard to the spread of coronavirus COVID-19, Messe Friedrichshafen is taking a serious but necessary step: aviation show AERO will not be held in the planned period of April 1 to 4, 2020, but will be postponed to a date that has not yet been determined.”
“The current situation with the coronavirus has resulted in a nasty domino effect,” says Klaus Wellmann, Managing Director of Messe Friedrichshafen. On Thursday, the same decision already had to be made for two additional events (Aqua-Fisch and IBO). “The industry members of the general aviation community also see the health and economic risks of the upcoming trade fair as too high,” said Wellmann. “We share this assessment, but it is with a heavy heart that we now need to take this serious step together.”
The popular event, known commonly as “the Oshkosh of Europe,” was expected to draw at least 700 exhibitors, but had witnessed numerous cancellations in recent days, prompting the decision to postpone the show.
On March 9, the Aircraft Electronics Association released a statement indicating that its event to take place at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, on March 24 to 27, would proceed as planned, and it outlined the preventative steps that the host convention center and the association would take to ensure the health and safety of its guests. “The emergency operations guidelines at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center are extensive, and the facility’s emergency preparedness plans are thorough. Association staff is working closely with the resort and convention center to ensure all necessary precautions are being taken to ensure the health and well-being of attendees remain the top priority,” the message said. Participants are strongly advised to monitor their own health and self-isolate if any symptoms arise.
The organizers of the Sun-n-Fun Fly-In also noted, as of press time, that the event, scheduled for March 31 to April 4, would continued as planned. A message outlining “Attendee Safety” has been posted on the website and participants again are encouraged to take charge of their individual situations to help ensure the overall health of the event.