Publisher's Column

It's no secret that China has officially become the next frontier in aviation, surpassing Japan. It is now the second largest aviation market, following only the U.S. One can hardly pick up a newspaper or industry publication these days without the mention of aviation business in China. With tourism and air cargo booming, China has placed a high priority on improving the functionality, efficiency, and safety of its entire air transportation system.

Some 40 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 ten to 15 years. China will improve aviation security systems and equipment and, not unlike U.S. airports, retail concessions are seen as offering great revenue potential for Chinese airports. Major monies are being budgeted for aircraft, ground support equipment, safety equipment, and terminal and software improvements. Priority will be given to foreign investment.

The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) expects the nation's airlines to improve operating efficiencies and to concentrate on developing a modern ?hub and spoke? system. More regional airports will be built, increasing the capacity of airports to serve as national hubs and international airports. Airport construction in Western China is also planned.

Getting started in China is not an easy proposition and with the assistance of the U.S. government and the CAAC, the task can be made significantly easier.

Cygnus Business Media's aviation publishing group (including AIRPORT BUSINESS) has plans in place to host a trade mission to China September 9-16, 2005. The purpose of the mission is to provide companies in the airport business, ground support, ground services, maintenance, and technology sectors an opportunity to do business in China, while meeting one-on-one with potential buyers. The mission will visit Beijing and Shanghai. Give us a call is you'd like to go exploring with us.