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Serbia's President Tomislav Nikolic opened an international air show "Batajnica 2012", celebrating one hundred years of Serbian military aviation.
The Ministry of Defence stated that Nikolic, opening this event at the Batajnica airport, thanked the members of the Serbian Army Air Force, who are vital to national defence.
I would especially thank the countries that responded to our invitation to present their aviation at the air show. We welcomed the participants and delegations from 16 countries, who will show us 27 airplanes and helicopters, making the event even more significant and interesting, the President said, adding that in this way our international defence cooperation becomes richer and stronger.
He recalled that the first air shows were held in France in 1909, while already the following year thousands of Belgrade citizens had the opportunity to attend the Banjica air performance by pilots Rudolf Simon and Boris Maslenikov.
Nikolic pointed out that on 25 March 1927, as part of the opening ceremony of the military-civilian airport built near Bezanijska Kosa, there was another air show before numerous national and international audience.
The President said that the first international air show in Belgrade was held on 5 June 1938, within the first international aviation exhibition.
According to him, our aerospace and aviation industries were then on the rise, so the show involved a large number of local companies, as well as representatives from Germany, France, England, United States, Italy, Czechoslovakia and Poland.
The air show "Batajnica 2012" brought together representatives of 16 countries, with 27 aircraft and more than 200 crew members.
Today's event was attended by Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Ivica Dacic, First Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Aleksandar Vucic, Serbian government ministers, Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik, Serbian Patriarch Irinej, Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Army Lt. Gen. Ljubisa Dikovic, representatives of the Ohio National Guard, diplomats and military attachés accredited in Belgrade, representatives of religious communities and prominent public figures.
The programme is followed by an aviation technology exhibition.
Tradition of air shows in Serbia is more than a century old, and apart from the air show in 2009, our country has hosted approximately ten major flight events of national and international importance, the statement added. Source: Serbian Government
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