Sliac, August 26 (TASR) – Thousands of people who visited Sliac airbase (Banska Bystrica region) on Saturday saw the world’s largest passenger airliner the Airbus A380 as well as an American B-52 bomber aircraft as part of the 7th Slovak International Air Fest (SIAF), which is taking place between August 26-27.
The SIAF organisers would like to see a record number of visitors this year. According to SIAF director Hubert Stoksa, twice as many tickets were sold in pre-sales than last year. “Last year, as many as 68,000 people visited the airbase on Saturday. This year I’d be glad if we beat the record of 100,000 visitors on the first day,” he told TASR.
“Everything is running smoothly at the moment. The only issue concerns traffic. Interest in the air fest is enormous. There are plenty of visitors. We’re trying to deal with it,” said Stoksa.
SIAF on Saturday also featured one of the two new UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters that were recently acquired by the Slovak Armed Forces. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the air show earlier in the day, Defence Minister Peter Gajdos (a Slovak National Party/SNS nominee) said that the new American-made helicopters are a clear sign of the gradual modernisation of the Slovak Armed Forces.
Gajdos went on to say that the two machines should be joined by several more in the near future. “We’re proceeding systematically … Gradually more helicopters will arrive, so in this way we’re modernising the helicopter fleet. Next, we’ll modernise the aircraft fleet, all in line with long-term plans for developing … the Slovak Armed Forces,” said Gajdos, adding that his ministry is also focusing on modernising ground forces.