Sunday, July 29, 2012

Chongqing receives green light to develop general aviation industry

China approved Chongqing's request to open its low-level airspace to civil aviation, allowing the western Chinese city a free hand in developing its general aviation industry, reported Time Weekly in Guangzhou City. 

Low lever airspace refers to airspace below 18,000 feet, which is used frequently by light aircraft.

China's State Council approved Chongqing's request on April 18, ten days after an ad hoc team visited the city to examine its plan for developing its general aviation industry.

The move was billed by the local mass media as a gift from the State Council to the city's new Communist chief Zhang Dejiang, who was a vice premier before he assumed his current office.

General aviation is a part of civil aviation and consists of all flights other than military flights. It includes scheduled passenger airlines and cargo flights.

General aviation also includes both private and commercial flights, such as those used in rescue operations, weather monitoring, medical missions, ocean surveys, and recreation, reported Time Weekly.

China had 1,100 general aviation aircraft by 2011, and the industry provided jobs to 80,000 people. The entire industry was worth 1.79 billion yuan (US$283 million).

This fleet could increase to more than 10,000 aircraft by 2020, with a market of 150 billion yuan (US$23.7 billion), said Time Weekly.

The weekly quoted Tang Jilong, the vice-secretary-general of the General Aviation Commission under the China Air Transport Association, as saying that general aviation was a large industry with far-reaching economic impact.

The top tier of this industry constitutes the manufacturing of aircraft, telecommunications equipment and piloting apparatus, while the mid-tier includes the operation of air carriers and flight schools, the management of airports and the manufacturing of airplane components. At the bottom is the maintenance of aircraft, leasing of aircraft, artificially-induced rain, crop dusting flights and airborne sightseeing.

In preparation for the development of general aviation, about 40 aviation parks have been built in China.

Chongqing has one such industry park in Niangjiang New District, with an area of eight square kilometers. It hosts several aviation companies including Chongqing Helicopter Investment, Aviation Industry Corporation of China, and General Aviation Industry Corporation of China.

The Chongqing Helicopter Investment is also cooperating with the Civil Aviation Flight University of China to train pilots and aircraft maintenance crew in Chongqing. It is aiming to certify 300 pilots and 500 technicians graduating each year.


No comments:

Post a Comment