Economic development leaders from the Virginia Peninsula, an emerging high-technology centre in the eastern USA, are meeting with officers of aviation businesses and other growth industries at the airshow.

Situated midway between New York and Miami, where Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet, the Virginia Peninsula's key assets include a robust scientific and business community.

Components include NASA's Langley Research Center, where armed forces aviation developed and America's first astronauts were trained, and Jefferson Lab's continuous electron beam accelerator and Free Electron Laser.

There are hi-tech businesses, eight colleges and universities within a 45-minute drive, the United States' second-highest per capita concentration of scientists and engineers, and a large, educated labour pool available at a wage scale lower than the American average.

In 2003 the region will host the Aviation World's Fair, commemorating the centennial of flight and the progress of aviation technology.

The team includes Richard D Weigel, president and chief executive of the Peninsula Alliance for Economic Development; Frederick Paris, the PAED's vice-president for marketing; and representatives of area governments, NASA and Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport, where the Aviation World's Fair will take place.

Our picture shows the airshow in full swing.