Business aviation is playing an important role in propelling China’s economy and should be fostered both at a local and national level, a top Chinese aviation authority told ABACE attendees at today’s opening general session. Jiang Huaiyu, the director general of the eastern regional headquarters for the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) who joined a panel of dignitaries at the session, noted that to maintain a strong economic growth rate, “we need to provide diversified aviation services.” Business and general aviation are key players in those diversified services, he said.
The Chinese government has begun to take steps to encourage the industry’s growth, developing a national strategy for general aviation. He noted that to continue that growth, officials must educate about the benefits of the industry and develop policies that support that effort.
At the local level, Jing Yiming, president of the Shanghai Airport Authority, noted that local officials are dedicated to helping business aviation take off. But he added that to ensure growth is not constrained, infrastructure must be put in place to accommodate business aviation.
Local officials are in the preliminary stages of planning a “new business aviation area” that could be in addition to Shanghai Hongqiao and Pudong International Airports. Such a facility could provide a “brand-new opportunity for business aviation,” he said, adding that his hope is that the municipal government, the local airport authority and the industry can work together to advance such a project.
Internationally, Stephen Creamer, director of the Air Navigation Bureau for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), cited a need to adopt flexible policies that are more suitable for business aviation operations. He noted that ICAO has rigid rules (Annex 6 Part 1) tailored for commercial operations but a more flexible approach (Part 2) for business and general aviation that ensures an equivalent level of safety.
According to Creamer, a number of aviation authorities have yet to implement Part 2 to support development of business and general aviation authorities and encouraged attendees at the ABACE session to support that adoption on an international level.
Advocating for the more flexible rules was one of three broad initiatives that Creamer offered to help foster growth of business and general aviation globally. He also noted the importance of industry stakeholders participating in association, community and government efforts. And he stressed the need to develop safety management systems. “All these activities need to be taken together,” he said.
Creamer also outlined several issues that business aviation needs to pay attention to on a global scale, including the development of a cybersecurity strategy, implementation of advanced technologies and simplification in the implementation of performance-based navigation.
Other speakers—including Geoff Jackson, executive director of the U.S.-China aviation cooperation program; Hanscom Smith, consul general of the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai; and Axel Cruau, French counsel general in Shanghai—highlighted the partnerships between their countries and China to ensure development of business and general aviation and flow of products between the countries.
“Its pretty clear that, thanks in part to supportive government policies, business aviation is not just growing, but is evolving and becoming more diverse [in China] in ways that are profound and encouraging,” NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen told the audience. “Simply put, the industry is becoming ever more established in this region.”