Germany’s Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel focused on German-French cooperation in aviation and space in her speech at the opening of the ILA Berlin 2018. “The ILA 2018 not only features innovations but also cooperation“, the chancellor said before cutting the blue ribbon at the start of the show. The ILA is “very much a symbol of close and successful cooperation with the partner country France”.
The chancellor expressed her confidence that German-French partnership with its many joint ventures in defence policy will also give the European defence union “even more vigour“. She made a particular reference to the supply industry, which accounts for almost one third of all exhibitors this year. “At the ILA this sector in particular is demonstrating its capability for innovation, with alternative fuels, more efficient engine technology and digital elements such as 3D printing.”
More recently “our astronaut Alexander Gerst” in particular has been the embodiment of the fascination of space flight. One could say that “it would soon be worth his while to register the International Space Station ISS as his second home, because he will shortly be taking over as commander”, the chancellor joked. Gerst will be taking off for his second spell on the ISS at the beginning of June. During her tour of the exhibition grounds Merkel visited the Space Hall, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Liebherr Aerospace GmbH, MTU Aero Engines AG, Rolls-Royce, Diehl, Airbus and the stands of the French industry association GIFAS, the Bundeswehr (German armed forces) and the US armed forces.