At Abace today, Cessna Aircraft senior vice president for business jets Brad Thress elaborated further on the aircraft manufacturer’s joint venture with Aviation Industry Corp. of China (Avic) and the Chengdu provincial government to build midsize Citations in China. He said that the Sovereigns and Latitudes built in China will be assembled in Chengdu from components made at the company’s headquarters in Wichita. “We see this as incremental business. It will add volume and market for us here but it also adds work volume in Wichita.”
For Cessna, Thress said, the move into China “is not about cost; it’s about market access and fostering the development of business aviation here.” He also said that Chinese authorities seem eager to allow general aviation to grow.
According to the Cessna executive, Chinese officials understand that a general-aviation infrastructure is essential for development of Chinese pilots and technicians. “They absolutely intellectually understand it,” Thress said. “We’ve taken them to small airports around Wichita and they’ve seen it. They understand how it works for us. They understand what an important component of the overall aviation infrastructure [general aviation] is.”