China wants help developing a safe business-aviation operating environment, according to Xia Xinghua deputy administrator of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). “The CAAC sees the development of business aviation as a long-term strategic program,” he said in his speech, kicking off the opening general session of the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) yesterday. “We can learn from our U.S. colleagues and mold the industry together.”
Among other dignitaries present were John Porcari, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation; Nianzu Wu, chairman of the Shanghai Airport Authority; and Ed Bolen, CEO of the U.S. National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).
Porcari said the Asian business aviation market will surpass that of Europe by 2030, and endorsed Xia’s comments. He said, “It falls on us to develop regulatory mechanisms to promote responsible growth.”
According to Xia, at the end of last year there were nine business aviation operators in China, with a further 48 applying for air operator certificates. He added that in 2010 there were 20 business aircraft in China. That number grew to 109 last year, and the CAAC has already approved import applications for 60 more jets this year.
“By the end of the current 12-year plan, we expect there will be 30 management companies in China and more than 280 new airports, 40 of which would be dedicated business aviation airfields,” he said.
Bolen praised the cooperative spirit at ABACE. “The support shown by these senior government leaders from the U.S. and China will serve as a catalyst for the industry,” he said.
Held at the new Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Centre at Hongqiao Airport, ABACE has sold out, with more than 100 exhibitors present plus 28 business aircraft in the static display from all of the major manufacturers.
There are also conference sessions on site during the show this week. Of particular interest will be a discussion session by government bodies across the region moderated by Porcari today at 9 a.m. Xia is to speak, along with Yukiyoshi Noguchi, principal deputy director, aviation strategy division, Civil Aviation Bureau of Japan; Tay Tiang Guan, deputy director-general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore; and Don Spruston, former director general, Transport Canada and the International Business Aviation Council.