Publisher's Note

It is no secret that China has officially become the next new frontier in aviation, surpassing Japan, it is now the second largest aviation market, following only the US.

You can't pick up a paper or industry newsletter these days without the mention of aviation business in China. With the tourism and air cargo businesses booming, China has placed a high priority on improving the functionality, efficiency and safety of their entire air transportation system.

Forty airports are slated for construction or upgrade in China by 2006 and full conversion of the air traffic control system will be introduced over the next 10--15 years. China will improve aviation security systems and equipment, and not unlike US airports, retail concessions are being considered as a revenue source for Chinese airport authorities. Major monies are being budgeted for aircraft, ground support equipment, safety equipment and terminal and software improvements and priority will be given to foreign investment.

The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) has completed mergers with Air China, China Eastern and China Southern, and China's smaller, less profitable airlines. The CAAC expects the new airlines to improve operating efficiencies and concentrate on developing a modern "hub-and-spoke" system. More regional airports will be built, increasing the abilities of airports as national hubs and international airports, and airport construction in the western region of China is also planned.

In response to this growth and the huge interest to do business in China it became an important objective to offer airport suppliers and airport-based business suppliers a way to get into China. Getting started in China is not an easy proposition yet with the assistance of the US government and the CAAC, the task can be made significantly easier.

Cygnus Business Media's aviation publishing group, including Ground Support Magazine, has put plans in place to host a trade mission to China in 2006. The purpose of the mission is to provide companies in the ground support, ground services, airport business and maintenance and technology sectors, the opportunity to do business in China, while meeting one-on-one with potential buyers. Aircraft Maintenance Technology, AIRPORT BUSINESS and Ground Support Magazine want to give clients the opportunity to explore this very important and vast business market. The mission will visit Beijing and Shanghai. As we continue to research dates for the mission, we are very excited to take the step into this new frontier and look forward to talking with you about your participation in China.

Thank you for reading!