AERO 2022 – A Successful Restart and Reunion for the Aviation Industry!

10 May 2022

AERO 2022 marked the successful restart and reunion of the aviation industry! The trade fair was held as a live event between 27.04.2022 and 30.04.2022 at Messe Friedrichshafen. The event occurred on the shores of Lake Constance amidst the absence of Covid-19 restrictions. This was due to the removal of such limitations within the Baden-Württemberg state. The event featured two primary and five secondary themes. It also included a novel addition to the programme. It received 27,700 trade visitors from 75 countries and 633 exhibitors amidst a jubilant ambience. The many opportunities to conduct face-to-face networking inspired the joyous atmosphere. AERO 2022 reconfirmed the importance of the event. It also reaffirmed the importance of in-person trade fairs for the aviation industry.

Messe Friedrichshafen held AERO 2022 amidst the absence of Covid-19 safeguards. The removal of such regulations occurred on 03.04.2022 for the State of Baden-Württemberg. As a result, many restrictions became voluntary recommendations. This applied to the use of face masks and maintaining a social distance. The trade fair featured two primary themes as well as five secondary ones. These were presented throughout the support programme as central subjects and sub-events.

The two key themes were:

  • Sustainability
  • Post-Covid-19 recovery

The five secondary themes were:

  • Business Aviation
  • Drones
  • E-Flight
  • Helicopter
  • Ultralights

The themes were implemented through several means, such as new sub-events. Furthermore, they were included as the primary topics of the extensive conference schedule.

One of AERO 2022's highlights was the high concentration of presented innovations. This was due to the extended hiatus both in the hosting of the trade fair and the tourism and aviation sectors. As a result, the exhibiting companies could focus on developing new products. Innovations which they were able to present at the restart edition of AERO. This helped to showcase the resilience and creativity of the aviation industry. It also promoted the event’s high level of optimism. Among the highlight innovations were electric flight, sustainable fuels, and digital support systems. Among the companies to present innovations were:

  • Textron Aviation
  • Cirrus Aircraft
  • Diamond Aircraft Industries
  • Tecnam
  • Piper Aircraft
  • Pipistrel Aircraft
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Flight Design
  • Alpi Aviation
  • Aquila Aviation
  • Elixir Aircraft
  • JMB Aircraft
  • Turbotech
  • H2FLY

The showcased innovations included:

  • The Alpi Twin-engine aircraft
  • the A414 four-seat single-engine aircraft
  • The Elixir 915iS two-seat training and touring aircraft and its 100 hp (74 kW) Rotax 915iS engine
  • the VL3 Evolution ultralight aircraft with its Turbotech turboprop engine
  • The ultralight Junkers A50 Junior and Junkers A60
  • The record-holding HY4

The high concentration of innovations was not the only highlight of AERO 2022. The event also featured a novel addition known as the Sustainable Aviation Trail, consisting of two sections. The sections were the AERO Conference Trail and the Exhibitor Trail. It served as the central presentation sub-event for the Sustainable Aviation theme and incorporated topics like electric flight. The Exhibitor Trail comprised established companies and start-ups whose wares promote sustainability. Such participants were distinguished with a green balloon above their show booth. The products and services often were new improvements or innovations. They included new aircraft types, systems, and alternatives, such as H2FLY.

The AERO Conference Trail focused on the topics related to the central theme. It allowed participants to discuss and exchange information to create new sustainable solutions. It included sessions such as:

  • Sustainable aviation fuel
  • Advanced automotive engineering and manufacturing as aerospace enablers
  • Additive manufacturing–the process chain of the future
  • Drivetrain to flytrain - what can electric aviation learn from the automotive industry?
  • GA segment digital connectivity and engine maintenance
  • Novel power sources and technologies
  • Sustainable Aviation Ecology presentations–electric, solar and hydrogen alternatives
  • Is zero-emission aviation possible?
  • Wood–the material of the future

Each session featured one or more leading experts as the speakers. Among them were R&D specialists, company or association representatives, CEOs, and others. Examples included Tom Gunnarson, Sven Rieve, Tobias Kahnert and Hr Sébastien Larue.

Sustainability was also among the central themes of the various Special Shows. These were sub-events that often served as specialised exhibitions or to popularise aviation. The Special Shows presented at AERO 2022 were:

  • Avionics Avenue
  • Flight Simulator Area
  • E-Flight-Expo
  • Be a Pilot
  • AERODrones
  • AEROkunst

The ENGINE AREA was one of the featured Special Shows. It was located in Hall A5 and was the exhibition space for engines and propulsion systems. The presented wares included innovative maintenance/management tools and engine systems. The ENGINE AREA also showcased alternative fuel solutions.

The Avionics Avenue and the incorporated within it Headset Test Area were situated in Hall 6. The Avenue presented the latest cockpit, flight control & management, radar, and communication innovations. High sound quality and noise reduction products were available in the Headset Area. The Avenue attracted many pilots, purchasers, and media representatives. This was due to the location allowing them to learn about the latest avionics trends.

The Flight Simulator Area was also located in Hall 6. It was presented for the second time and attracted various participants. Among them were experienced pilots and young people considering such a career. Furthermore, it attracted flight simulator manufacturers and suppliers. Such participants presented at the site their latest products and developments. The Area allowed young people to experience guiding an aircraft through take off. This allowed them to gain insight into the pilot profession. Experienced pilots could learn in the Area about the latest advanced training options. They could also test piloting other types of aircraft.

The E-Flight-Expo presented the latest innovations and developments related to electric flight. This included new aircraft models, propulsion systems, engines, and training programmes. At the Expo, visitors could examine such wares and test them. This included experiencing the interior of an e-flight aircraft.

Be a Pilot was a special presentation and exhibition area located in Hall A3 in Foyer West. It was the central display and networking location for various training organisations. In particular, it focused on the ones that educate pilots. This included providing detailed information on how individuals can begin the process. Among the examples was how young people can finance their pilot education. They could also learn about what educational requirements they need to fulfil. They furthermore could learn about what qualification tests they need to complete. The sub-event also contained a specialised computer-based screening tool. It assessed the potential of future pilots regarding their aptitude and abilities. This included capacitive, psychomotor and knowledge-based performance.

AERODrones showcased the theme of Drones. This included their role in government and public services. It was located in Hall A2. It featured a diverse range of operators and around 50 exhibitors. The participants showcased the latest models, services, mission examples, and applications. The exhibition area was available on 27.04.2022 and 28.04.2022. It featured companies such as Hensoldt, ESG, Swissdrones, Dronivo, and Securiton. It furthermore included representatives from various government and public service organisations. Among them were the Bavarian Red Cross and the Black Forest Mountain Rescue Service. The Baden-Württemberg Police and the BBK organised AERODrones. The area was part of the sub-event known as the UAS in Government and Public Services. It allowed drone operators, government representatives and manufacturers to network and exchange information. Also, it served as the first cross-deployment specialist event for UAV deployment. It furthermore enabled specialists to learn about the latest UAV technologies and developments. Among the specialists were police, firefighters, and rescue services.

AEROkunst, located in Hall B2, presented artwork related to aviation. This incorporated works such as photography, paintings, furniture, graphic paintings, and sculptures. It allowed the artists to gain recognition, as well as promote aviation. As with its previous two editions, one artwork would be raffled. Visitors also had the option to buy one or more of the presented works.

Many presentation areas also included specialised sections. These were incorporated into the AERO Conferences. These allowed attendees to learn about and discuss a broad range of topics. The latest challenges, industry developments, legislation changes, and others were among them. Many of the sessions focused on the central theme of sustainability. They also presented the sub-topics, including drones, E-Flight, business aviation and others. Among the highlights of the

AERO Conferences were the sessions known as:

  • The development of Electric Propulsion Standards
  • Awareness Campaign for 2021/2022
  • How is private aviation affected by fuel price increases?
  • Safe AI for automated aviation–overview of the challenges, approaches, and future developments
  • EU legislation and its BOS consequences
  • UAS/Drones–gaining an operating licence at the Federal Aviation Authority (LBA)
  • Government Relations
  • Flight envelope safety and protection
  • Aviation insurance and liability
  • Error & Threat Management
  • LIFESEEKER in BOS use–identifying and locating mobile phones from the air
  • BOS drone and rescue helicopter collaboration in action
  • Future crisis operations airspace concept
  • First Response Units and drones

Each session focused on a specific topic depending on the area it incorporated. For instance, “Error & Threat Management” focused on improving error & threat management. It was part of the “Be a Pilot” exhibition area. Likewise, the “First Response Units and drone” session was part of the AERODrone zone.

AERO 2022 reconfirmed the event's position as the leading aviation industry trade fair. This is due to its various highlights and the 27,700 trade visitors from 75 countries that attended it. Six hundred thirty-three exhibitors also took part in the event, thus showing the importance of face-to-face meetings for the industry. Many participants expressed high satisfaction with their participation. This was due to the high number of high-quality visitors and sales. Visitors also praised the high standard of the presented products and services.