Chinese entities already have bought several well-known U.S. general aviation companies including Cirrus and Teledyne Continental Motors. Here at AirVenture this year, Chinese companies are looking to expand two-way trade with U.S.-based GA companies and have set up several tents and pavilions aimed at showcasing the potential of China’s growing, albeit slowly, GA market.
The Shandong Aviation Industry Association has pitched its tent in the shadow of the Oshkosh control tower. The association was established in 2011 with 50 members in the air transport, MRO, flight training and aerospace education, aviation finance, and other related companies. The association’s self-proclaimed mission is to “promote the development of the aviation industry” in China including motivating the opening of low-altitude airspace.
Li Long is sales director for Binao Diamond Aircraft in Shandong, a member of the association. AirVenture is “very exciting” Li said, and “we are working with the EAA to promote private aviation in China. We are here to learn. You can fly in China but it is not so easy.” Li said he hopes to see increased liberalization of Chinese airspace within three years as more GA airports are constructed. However, he said the bureaucratic hurdles to doing so are steep. “You need to get approvals from both the government and the air force.”
Nevertheless, Li said that private companies in China are developing their own airports to service future GA demand. This includes Li’s home airport of Binzhou. “Airports are good for economic development,” Li said.