Pilatus Aircraft Industry China, a joint venture between Pilatus and Beijing Tian Xing Jian Yu Science, opened on Monday in Chongqing. According to the joint-venture agreement, the $400 million project includes the “establishment of a company engaged in production, general assembly and maintenance of general aviation aircraft, and the relocation of PC-12 production lines for the Asia-Pacific region and PC-6 production lines from Switzerland to Chongqing.” The Chinese venture will not produce components for Pilatus military training aircraft, namely the PC-21, PC-9M and PC-7 Mk II.
Though the companies expect the Chinese facility to have an annual production capacity of 150 PC-6s and PC-12s, this “will not impact negatively on production operations in Switzerland,” Pilatus said. “On the contrary, production in Switzerland will be reinforced by the anticipated sale of aircraft to China.” Pilatus Aircraft China has signed an initial contract to supply 50 PC-12s/PC-6s.
According to Pilatus, the venture will allow it to tap into the burgeoning Chinese aviation market, which is expected to grow at an annual rate exceeding 10 percent. “The PC-12 and Pilatus Porter PC-6 are optimum aircraft for this booming market,” said Pilatus chairman Oscar Schwenk, “and we are confident our products have great potential. China has many small airfields with short runways; our aircraft are ideal for operating in and out of them.”