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Berlin's ILA air show takes off

The annual International Aerospace Exhibition and Conference (ILA) is underway in Berlin. Some visitors have been getting a sneak-peak of the city's new airport, which is way behind schedule.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was on hand in Berlin to officially open the ILA, calling it "one of the best places for innovation."

Watch video 01:14

Berlin Air Show opens in new venue

The first few days of the conference are closed to the public, as leaders of the aviation industry meet to learn about the newest innovations in the industry and to hammer out deals. Starting Friday, though, the ILA is open to the public.

Featuring 1,243 exhibitors from 46 countries, the ILA is also the inaugural event at the Berlin ExpoCenter Airport. The venue is directly next to the site of Berlin's new airport, which is scheduled to open in October, 2013. The original plans foresaw an opening date of June this year.

The ILA's exhibitors will present a wide range of high-tech products, systems and processes from all branches of the aerospace industry at continental Europe's leading aerospace exhibition.

Around 270 aircraft will be on display as well, featuring planes of all sizes and from different eras. Highlights of the program on the weekend include flying displays for visitors.

mz/rc (Reuters, dpa)

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