Six months after ABACE 2017 was held in Shanghai and six months before the next edition of Asia’s premier business aviation event (April 17 to 19, 2018), business aviation activity is growing robustly in Shanghai, according to Carey Matthews, general manager of ABACE host facility Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Centre (SHPBASC) at Hongqiao Airport.
Speaking to AIN at NBAA 2017 in Las Vegas, Matthews said, “We’re having our best year ever in terms of numbers” of aircraft using the FBO. September was a record month, up 11.6 percent on September 2016, he added. “We’re seeing robust growth in bizjet ops throughout Shanghai.”
Matthews also said that the company’s second Shanghai FBO, at Terminal 2 of Pudong International Airport, is now able to offer customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) services. Having this year round is a major step forward, he added. Previously Hawker Pacific could only offer CIQ at its Hongqiao FBO.
The Pudong general aviation apron area can now be configured for high-density parking. Instead of six wide-cabin, long-range business jets, the apron can now accommodate 24, said Matthews.
Matthews also told AIN that work on the SHPBASC's second hangar at Hongqiao is progressing well, and he is “confident” it will be ready for exhibitor stands at ABACE 2018. It adds 48,437 sq ft (4,500 sq m) to the existing 43,055-sq-ft (4,000-sq-m) hangar, plus more office space on three floors. “We’re ahead of schedule,” he noted.
AsBAA Steps Up in Asia
Also at NBAA 2017, Jenny Lau, president of Sino Jet Management, who took over as chair of the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) in June, told AIN, “We have a new board of directors and have a clear set of targets and goals for each region. The association is keen to be strong in all regions, not only the Hong Kong area where is started out, and now has chapters in Singapore and China [based in Beijing]."
AsBAA is holding a regional forum at the Macau Air Show, November 3 to 5, to discuss business aviation serving the greater bay area that encompasses Zhuhai and Hong Kong as well. “We want to focus on Asia as a whole,” Lau said.
TAG Aviation maintenance director Phil Balmer, who is vice chairperson of AsBAA and chairman of its Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau regional committee, said the association would be holding its Icons of Aviation Awards on November 10 in Hong Kong.