City frees up airspace for private jets

By Yin Yeping Source:Global Times Published: 2012-12-12 23:55:07

It will be easier for private aircraft to use the capital's airspace next year, military aviation authorities have announced.

Those involved in the industry have welcomed the new rules as a boost to the private aircraft market in China.

Yang Xiaofeng, the media officer of Miyun government said Wednesday that by 2013, private aircraft owners or pilots will only need to file a flight plan one hour in advance. 

"The regulation simplifies the current application procedure that requires [private] pilots to send a flight application two days in advance for any low altitude flights," Yang said.

The new regulations were discussed at a meeting concerning the management of low-altitude airspace held at Miyun Airport on Monday, and announced by Beijing Military Air Force Headquarters.

This was part of the guidance document about the low altitude airspace for private planes issued by the State Council and Central Military Committee in November 2010, Xinhuanet reported on November 14, 2010.

Liao Xuefeng, the founder of the China Business Aviation Group, an aircraft sales and consulting company, said he gave suggestions for the 2010 guidance document. 

"Part of the reason for the new rules is to boost the development of the general aviation industry," said Liao.

In addition, the rules call for a "free flight zone" and opening up of Beijing's low altitude airspace (from 100-1,000 meters) for private aircraft.

Cao Wei, manager of Beijing Reignwood Star General Aviation, a Beijing-based private jet company, who was at Monday's meeting, said the two highlights of this plan are the free flight zone and simplified application procedures.

"In the free flight zone, you won't need to follow any designated flight route when flying at low altitude," he said.

Cao noted that despite the new policy, some areas like airports, military bases and the area within the Third Ring Road will still be off-limits to private aircraft.

"Pilots will still need to report their flight plans to Beijing aviation management bureau and Beijing Air Force Military Headquarters, but they don't need to wait for their approval to fly," he said.

"The plan will help boost the aircraft market for sure," he said, adding there are only 1,000 private aircraft in Beijing.

Posted in: Society, Metro Beijing

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