Wichita aviation expo aims to draw from across U.S. and globe

08/29/2014 3:34 PM

08/29/2014 7:21 PM

A local event planner is working on the city’s first Air Capital Aviation Expo in an effort to bring parts suppliers and manufacturers together at one place.

The purpose is to showcase their products and services and hold business meetings, said Richard Bartel, a spokesman for Air Capital Productions, which is working on the event.

It’s a year away, but planners want to get the word out and alert companies to the event.

The exposition is scheduled to run Aug. 27 through Aug. 30, 2015, at Century II Convention Center.

Registrations are being accepted now, Bartel said.

A show of this nature is a natural for the city, he said. Wichita isn’t a major destination like Las Vegas or Orlando, but it is the Air Capital of the World, Bartel said.

“That’s the one thing that’s been missing all this time,” he said, about an expo of this nature.

The area is home to more than 670 aerospace manufacturing firms and other non-manufacturing suppliers, plus aviation-related educators and research facilities, he said. It’s one of the most developed aviation infrastructures in the world, Bartel said.

The event is designed to be a business-to-business show that will attract vendors from around the world. They will be under one roof and can also visit vendors’ facilities in the area.

Bartel plans for it to become an annual event.

“I think this event would appeal to pretty much anybody and everybody in aviation that deals with building parts or planes,” he said.

Bartel, a self-described “gearhead,” produces the annual Park City Chill, billed as the state’s largest indoor motorcycle, car and custom semi-truck show. The show is held at the Kansas Pavilions in Park City.

He also has worked in the aircraft industry since 1986.

Bartel has been researching the concept of an aviation expo for more than a year.

Tickets will be $100 for attendees, according to the expo’s website. Exhibit space costs $750 for each 10-by-10-foot block of space. Each space includes four passes to the expo.

For more information and registration, go to www.aircapexpo.com.

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