China Aviation Law
24Oct/10Off

China designates low-altitude airspace for general aviation 国务院 中央军委关于深化我国低空空域管理改革的意见

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The state of private aviation in China is nothing like private aviation in the United States. If you are able to get your hands on a Cessna in China will not be able to do much flying. All flights must be on filed IFR flight plans and all flight must be pre-approved by the ATC. The result is that there is essentially no general aviation market outside of commercial training for the airlines.

This news is the first crack in the right direction for general aviation. The CAAC will start designating certain low-altitude general aviation corridors. The general aviation airspace will be restricted to below 1000 meters (about 3300 feet). There is no detail as when or how this will be implemented. Indeed, while it is a nice push in the right direction, these rules will not likely see much of an effect on general aviation as there is little air in china that is VFR and conflicting rules as how to use this soon to be designated space.

With the number of unmarked towers, guy wires and general pollution in that altitude range. I will be in no hurry to use the corridor.

That said, GA is expected to continue to grow in China. Indeed, the CAAC expects rapid growth in the next few years.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) expects that the market size of general aviation, including related industries, may reach one trillion yuan ($151 billion) after the low-altitude airspace opens, according to a Xinhua report.

An official surnamed Zhang with the China Aviation Industry Corp II(AVIC II)told the Global Times that China's huge potential demand for helicopters and light planes – from government agencies and the growing billionaires' club – has already become a reality in recent years, spurring the country to lift its long-standing restriction on the use of airspace below 3,000 meters.

“The strict control of low-altitude airspace has long been regarded as a bottleneck in the country's aviation development; now it is a good way to boost the national aviation industry as it can spur the potential domestic aviation consumption and lure more investment into the industry,” Zhang said.

In addition, the reform will also lead to more people acquiring a private pilot license, either billionaires who own a helicopter or people employed by the private commercial airplanes leasing company, an official surnamed Li with China Civil Aviation Flight University told reporters.

But it is certainly still very expensive to have a private plane, as it costs 160,000 yuan ($22,857) to obtain a private pilot’s license in China after a strict physical examination and a series of theory classes and practice training. The fee for flight membership is 300,000 yuan ($42,857) per 100 hours, and the maintenance of the aircraft costs 5 percent of its price per 200 flight hours.

Industry insider Yang Ruoyi told the Global Times that the reform still faces challenges, such as the lack of laws to standardize low-altitude flying and underdeveloped equipment for air traffic supervision.

“A real opening of the low-altitude airspace requires a series of other regulations concerning the authorization of flights and control of purchase of private planes,” he said

Source: Low-altitude Airspace Management Reform Guidance

Main Text of the Promulgation After the Jump:

3Oct/10Off

Cessna Delivers Four Aircraft to Chinese Customers in June

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"The aircraft add to Cessna’s considerable fleet presence in China. Cessna supports 24 Citations in China, about 35 percent of the total business jet fleet (excluding Hong Kong and Macau)."

Source: http://www.cessna.com/NewReleases/New/NewReleaseNum-1192324660172.html

With all the millionaries in China, it will only be a matter of time until we have a real increase in private aviation in China. What is interesting is that 3 of the aircraft were not private jets, instead there were Cessna Caravans. There is a lot of room to grow in this industry.