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Volume 14,Issue 3 Autumn 2012

China GA Forum 2008


What is to become of General Aviation (GA) in China as the country continues to experience robust economic growth coupled with the hosting of important international events like the Olympics in August and Shanghai Expo in 2010?
This and many more questions were answered by experts from China and around the world as the China Civil Aviation Report (CCAR) and the Capital Airports Holding Company VIP Department jointly hosted the China General Aviation Forum 2008 held at the Royalton Hotel Shanghai from June 23-25. The event was co-hosted by Capital Jet Company Ltd., Uniworld LLC (the parent company of the CCAR), Friends of China GA, INDUS Aviation Inc., Lufthansa Technik AG, Embraer, Rockwell Collins, Air Routing International and Lektro Inc. The participants and guests were welcomed by Francis Chao, CCAR publisher; Chen Jingyun, president of the Capital Airports Holding Co. VIP Department; Jin Junhao of the Policy and Regulation of the Civil Aviation Administration of China; Guo Youhu, deputy director general of the East China CAAC; and Aaron Wilkins, representative of the Federal Aviation Administration office in Beijing. The first presentation was about the “Regulatory Roadmaps on Avionics” presented by Cui Jianmin of Rockwell Collins, a leading company in the design, production and support of communication and aviation electronics. On the other hand, Daisy Peng, marketing manager of Hawker Beechcraft Corporation, tackled the topic “Catalyzing Growth in China’s General Aviation Sector,” comparing China’s GA industry with other countries such as the United States (US). China and the US, for instance, have almost the same total area; yet, China only has 707 GA aircraft compared to the US’s 224,000. While the US logged in an annual GA flight hours of 27 million hours, China had only 91,901 flight hours. In the presentation, factors that were found to be hindering the growth of GA in China are access to airspace, import duties, flight clearance, culture, and fees. The growth of GA will be beneficial to China. As demonstrated in the US, GA contributes more than $150 billion annually to the US economy. In Canada, GA generated about $6-7 billion in annual turnover in 2006. The US and other countries use GA in humanitarian aid and disaster relief. Peng pointed out that the CAAC is supporting the growth of GA by changing its policies, simplifying the process in establishing a GA company and studying the possibility of lowering certain fees. Developing GA will boost China’s position as a strong aviation country and boost commercial aviation as GA is the training ground of future pilots. GA is projected to grow in China at a rate of 20 percent per year if policies become favorable for growth. China will host this year’s Olympics and the World Expo in 2010 and there is a great potential for business jets to service VIPs, such as heads of states. Lufthansa Technik provides VIP and executive jet solutions including technical services and FBO services. It says that business jet growth in China can be achieved by simplifying procedures and opening secondary airports. Peet Aviation and Textron, on the other hand, presented “Developing China’s emergency response and air rescue capability through GA,” tackling ways GA can help in times of disaster. China experiences disasters all year through; thus, there is a need to beef up its emergency response and air rescue capability. And this is where GA comes into play. According to Textron, following a disaster, GA aircraft, especially helicopters, can be used in aerial assessments of the extent of damage, security and rescue, and communication infrastructure assistance. “GA aircraft can provide the best -- and sometimes the ONLY -- assistance,” according to the presentation. GA aircraft can bring aid to the disaster area, as well as provide patient support and evacuations. They can also be used to carry out emergency medical missions such as transporting trauma patients to hospitals. Helicopter emergency medical service, for instance, has been found to be cost-effective in the transportation of trauma patients. “Countries with a developed GA market and integrated disaster plans stand poised to serve and assist in the time of need,” the Textron presentation said. Then there is the prospect of business jets bridging the gap across the Taiwan Strait. As of last July 4, direct commercial flights between China and Taiwan have started. This can open an opportunity for Cross Strait business aviation to be included in future plans in the direct flights between China and Taiwan. After three days, the China GA Forum concluded with participants having high hopes in the development and growth of General Aviation in China. The prospects are already in place for GA to be developed in China. What is needed is cooperation between GA operators and the Chinese government to make General Aviation an industry of its own.

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