BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has opened the International Aerospace Exhibition (ILA) on the grounds of the capital's BER airport in Schonefeld. "The Federal Government has a great interest in a strong aerospace industry in Germany and Europe," said the Chancellor after a two-hour tour of the trade fair. "Your innovations and inventions not only inspire the public here at the ILA."

The industry is responding to the geopolitical challenges of our time with innovations, said Michael Schollhorn, President of the German Aerospace Industries Association, at the opening of the trade fair. "Civil aviation is presenting advances in sustainability that will also become a competitive advantage." Military aviation shows the systems of the future. And space travel demonstrates "how Europe can guarantee independent access to the use of space".

However, Europe's technological leadership in these areas is contested. "The industry is also under pressure." In order to survive, the right political framework is needed. "We also need predictability in the defense budget and ultimately also orders, otherwise we will lose the medium-sized companies and suppliers whose capacities and capabilities will be decisive in the future."

Around 600 exhibitors from 30 countries will be exhibiting at the European aerospace industry showcase from Wednesday to Sunday. Until Friday, the trade fair is only open to trade visitors, but on Saturday and Sunday all other interested parties can also come to the exhibition grounds. The main focus will be on the sustainable transformation of civil aviation as well as defense and security topics./maa/DP/stk