China's general aviation industry ready for takeoff

A pilot program that saw low-altitude airspace in key Chinese cities being opened up for general aviation may be extended nationwide in 2013. The accelerated reform will certainly give a fresh impetus for the domestic generation aviation industry to spread its wings.

EJ Insight

A pilot program that saw low-altitude airspace in key Chinese cities being opened up for general aviation may be extended nationwide in 2013. The accelerated reform will certainly give a fresh impetus for the domestic generation aviation industry to spread its wings.

The State Council and the Central Military Commission are said to be in last stage of reviewing the final draft proposal to ease the grip on airspace below 1,000 meters, aiming to streamline the approval processes for small planes and commercial helicopters to take off.

Formal administrative measures to regulate the fledging generation aviation industry will be rolled out intensively this year, the China Securities Journal reported. Given China's vast geographic and demographic size, there could be a big upside for the industry in terms of business potential.

According to data from the nation's Civil Aviation Administration, there are only about 1,200 registered general aviation vehicles in China, in a stark contrast to over 230,000 in the United States. Still, airports available to accommodate private flights in China number less than 300 at present, while the US has 19,700.

Some players have already geared up for a spurt in demand. Airport ground equipment provider Weihai Guangtai (002111.CN), air-traffic control systems supplier Wisesoft (002253.CN) and light utility helicopter manufacturer AviChina Industry and Technology Co. Ltd. (2357.HK) would be the main beneficiaries from the opening up of airspace.

Copyright 2013 EJ Insight of Hong Kong Economic Journal Co., LtdAll Rights Reserved

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