The Civil Aviation Administration of China is planning to establish a three-level service system for low-altitude airspace, the better to meet the needs of general aviation, the authority announced in mid-October. According to the plan, the government will establish one national information management system, seven regional information processing systems, and institute a number of flight service stations. The national and regional systems are based on the CAAC air traffic control bureau and the regional air traffic control bureau, respectively. These two systems are to begin trial operations in 2019 and become fully operational in 2020.
The flight service stations will be classified either Class A or B, based on their service scope and functions. Class A stations will provide full-service functions and cover a large service scope. There will be no limits on the number of Class B stations. The plan proposed by the regional administration is meant to strengthen coordination with local governments to jointly study and propose how the service stations will be implemented.
Each service station is to be approved by the Civil Aviation Regional Administration in conjunction with the appropriate department of the provincial government. The requirements laid out for facilities and equipment will reduce the complexity of the examination and approval process. The plan also sets specific requirements on the qualifications, management systems, pre-operational conformity testing and evaluation, and operational services of the stations.
The flight-service-station network aims to deliver effective flight planning, aeronautical information, weather information, hazard alerts, and other assistance for low-altitude flights. The goal is to simplify applying for approval for each flight, and shorten the process of pre-flight preparation. By 2030, the low-altitude flight-service guarantee system should fully cover low-altitude reports, surveillance airspace, and GA airports.
Sun Weiguo, deputy director of the air navigation branch of China's Air Transport Association, said that, at present, the civil air traffic control system mainly serves commercial air transportation, leaving little support for general aviation. By establishing these flight-service stations, the agency can provide the necessary support. The network falls under the national air traffic control infrastructure.
The National Air Traffic Control Committee is currently conducting exploratory work on the cooperative reform of low-altitude airspace in Sichuan Province, he added.