The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) state-owned and -operated Aviation Industry Corporation of China (Avic) presented a full line of its products and plans for further expansion of its export markets at last month’s Aviation Expo China exhibition, which was held in the Chinese capital, Beijing. The centerpiece of the Avic display was a line-up of models of those military aircraft programs that the conglomerate has been permitted to make public.
China’s Air Traffic Management Bureau and Airbus’s air traffic management (ATM) company, ProSky, have signed an agreement to work together to modernize that country’s ATM system. The projects include updating the ILS systems at Beijing Capital Airport (ZBAA), conducting a capacity assessment at Chengdu International Airport (ZUUU) and other technology-based ATM improvements.
Cessna Aircraft has appointed Bill Schultz, the current president of subsidiary CitationAir, as its new senior vice president of business development for China, effective July 1.
Observers at the 611 Institute airfield at Chengdu were treated to the first glimpses of the long-predicted second prototype (2002) of the Chengdu J-20 stealthy fighter early this month. In the days that followed the aircraft undertook a number of high-speed taxi trials, culminating in a first flight on May 16. Days before, the first prototype (2001) is reported to have deployed to the Chinese flight-test establishment at Yanliang near the city of Xian, signaling the beginning of a new phase of flight trials.
Avion Pacific and Hawker Beechcraft sealed a $50 million deal for 10 Beechcraft King Air twin-turboprops today at ABACE. The order is for a combination of the largest King Air–the 350i–and the smallest, the C90GTx. Deliveries will begin to the Shenzhen-based business aviation services group in the fourth quarter. The company will use the aircraft for VIP travel, pilot training, aerial mapping and weather modification missions.
Shuangliu International Airport is the latest Chinese airport to announce that it will build a new FBO to support business aircraft operations. Construction work at the airport, which serves Sichuan province capital Chengdu, will start in October this year and the FBO will be situated next to Terminal 2.
According to the airport’s management team, the FBO will provide full general-aviation services, including fueling, light maintenance and customs, immigration and quarantine. The airport reportedly hopes to work with established FBO companies to set up the facility.
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.
Cessna Aircraft is making an aggressive move into Asia with plans to manufacture aircraft in China in partnership with Aviation Industry Corp. of China (Avic) and the Chengdu provincial government.
Cessna Aircraft and the Aviation Industry Corp. of China (Avic) signed “two strategic agreements to jointly develop general and business aviation in the People’s Republic of China” on Friday. Together these agreements “pave the way for a range of business jets, utility single-engine turboprops and single-engine piston aircraft to be manufactured and certified in China,” Cessna said. “The details of our agreements are still under discussion,” a Cessna spokeswoman told AIN, “but aircraft to be produced in Chengdu and sold in China include the Sovereign and Latitude.”
Prospective Chinese business jet owners have an excellent choice of Western-made products here at the ABACE show in Shanghai, but might they one day be able to buy a business aircraft built in their own country? Reports have been brewing in recent months that at least one Western manufacturer is in talks with China’s Comac aerospace group with a view to some sort of joint aircraft development. But, as of press time, nothing had been confirmed.
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