As ABACE kicked off its fifth consecutive year, aviation and government officials declared the event an integral part of the development of business aviation in the Greater China region. Speaking yesterday during the ABACE 2016 Opening General Session, CAAC party secretary and Eastern Regional Headquarters deputy director general Jiang Chunshui noted that ABACE provides an important platform not only to display cutting-edge technologies, but also to exchange information and ideas that will contribute to the development of the industry.
“General aviation is an important pillar of civil aviation,” Jiang said, adding that development of the industry remains a priority for the government. The CAAC has worked to try to “perfect our regulation and monitoring of business aviation,” he said. The CAAC has added staff to accommodate the growth of the industry, and the government has worked to reform the regulation of general aviation as the industry has experienced double-digit compound growth, he said. This growth has been evident here at ABACE, Jiang noted.
Shanghai Airport Authority chairman Li Derun said that the event provides a high-profile venue for the industry. Airport authority officials also are committed to supporting this growth, he continued, citing work to facilitate the upcoming expansion of business aviation facilities at both airports in Shanghai. “The Shanghai Airport Authority will strive to improve our capacity, safeguarding the development of business aviation,” Li said.
International aviation authorities further underscored the importance of collaboration to foster global development. Axel Cruau, counsel general of France, said his country has worked to play a role in the preparing in the education process in China and pointed to cooperative efforts to train engineers. He added that French industry stakeholders stand “ready to cooperate with their Chinese counterparts.”
Both Cruau and Weldon Epp, consul general of Canada, noted the number of business aviation companies from their respective countries exhibiting at this year’s ABACE. The presence of the companies, Epp said, speaks to the importance of the Chinese market to the industry.
Epp noted the long history between his country, the companies based there and China. Bell Helicopter Textron, which builds several models in Canada, has more than 100 aircraft in China, and Canada’s Bombardier has 120 aircraft in the region, Epp said.
While government plays an important role in this effort, one of its key efforts must be to provide an environment that fosters collaboration, he added, pointing to ABACE as a venue to accomplish that.
Ed Bolen–president and CEO of the U.S. National Business Aviation Association, co-organizer of ABACE–reiterated the evolution of the show from an event that mainly displayed large turbojets to one than now displays “an extraordinary spectrum” of aircraft. This evolution bodes well for the future of the industry in China, he suggested, while underscoring the economic benefits of an industry that it fosters jobs and economic development.
Bolen also stressed that along with the diversification of the aircraft on display, the attendee mix had also become more diverse. “I see delegates not just from China, but also from the Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and many other countries,” he said. “I expect ABACE to be an outstanding show.”