Over 100 cities in China building or planning general aviation parks

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-1-28 22:03:01

More than 100 cities across China are building or planning to build general aviation industrial parks, financial news agency AAStocks reported Tuesday.

Apart from the 10 national-level aerospace high-tech industrial bases approved by the ­National Development and Reform Commission, a total of 116 cities including those at the county level are building or planning to build general aviation industrial parks, the report said, citing data from Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of China.

General aviation means mainly non-commercial flights including those not operated by airlines, charter firms or the military.

There were also 1,631 general aviation aircraft in the country by the end of November 2013, 233 more than in the same period of 2012, according to data released at a meeting held by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in December.

The total production capacity of China's ­general aviation industrial parks is sufficient to meet the global demand for six months, an unnamed source told AAStocks, noting the global market needs around 1,000 small aircraft annually while one general aviation industrial park in China could produce 500 aircraft.

Not many companies have moved to these general aviation industrial parks and the ­construction of the general aviation industrial parks needs to be carefully planned by the government, the source said.

According to the source, a key problem ­hindering the development of China's general aviation is the lack of pilots.  

In November, the CAAC said in Beijing that it would simplify flight approval procedures for private aircraft. In the same month, the CAAC also said it would lower the threshold for obtaining a private pilot's license by simplifying the tests ­required.

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