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From the Market: Advanced Engineering.

From the Market: Advanced Engineering.
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China has only 900 general aviation aircraft compared to over 200,000 in the United States.  This figure includes all types, from forestry and agricultural helicopters to the coveted corporate jet. This gleaming status symbol eludes most Chinese executives, in part because Chinese airspace has been strictly controlled for some time.

However, the situation is slowly changing. Schemes in Shenyang and Guangzhou have been put in place which remove filing fees and reduce clearance times for flight plans. These schemes are gradually being extended to cover the whole country. However, the height of low altitude airspace is likely to be capped at 1,000 metres rather than the more usual 3,000 metres.

Despite the restrictions and slow pace of change, interest and activity in the general aviation sector in China is increasing. Business jet sales to China currently account for 25 per cent of Airbus’ worldwide business jet sales. 

Helicopter development has a long history of foreign cooperation in China, involving companies such as Eurocopter, AgustaWestland, Bell and Sikorsky. Eurocopter already has operations in several parts of China, and has recently signed a deal to manufacture luxury commercial helicopters in eastern China with the Zhong-Ou Group. China has also demonstrated the intention of developing its own ‘home grown’ civil helicopters, an example being AVIC’s AC311 light helicopter that made its maiden flight late last year.

General aviation in China is a market still in the early stages of development, but now might be a critical time to establish and develop connections.

For more information, contact vince.cunningham@cbbc.org

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