With its vast territory and isolated settlements, Mongolia has a good potential to make use of general aviation (GA). The nation currently has only 17 light aircraft operated by seven companies/individuals, but the nation's government is looking to build the base—and enjoy the economic benefits that result. To that end, it recently enacted a GA development program that establishes goals that it hopes will be achieved by 2022.
The program outlines objectives such as creating a conducive economic and legal environment, developing infrastructure, establishing systems to train personnel, and building the fuel-supply network. Specifically, it aims to ease GA operation licensing, certification, and flight operation and planning; to create grounds to provide investments such as leasing and soft loans for GA operations; and to provide tax incentives to individuals for purchasing light aircraft. For infrastructure, it intends to lower and exempt landing fees, to restructure some part of the Chinggis Khaan International airport for GA use (GA ops were moved to Ulaanbaatar International Airport), to restore unused provincial airports for GA, and to construct helipads for public use. For airspace, it envisions improving GA airspace regulation, making the airspace easier to use, and to establish systems to inform customers where there are usable segments of airspace.
Feeding the Pipeline
The program intends to create an elementary training structure to prepare private pilots and to set up training centers that meet international standards and can conduct training at the regional level. Also, Mongolia plans to prepare GA pilots, engineers, and technicians overseas and domestically and to support private flying clubs and training organizations. The government is investigating long-term soft loans for purchases of light aircraft.
Moreover, the government wants to introduce the latest GA technologies, produce and assemble locally suitable light aircraft, and establish MRO centers and spare parts supply networks. Standards and requirements for private-use light aircraft and helicopters are to be set through regulations. Also, requirements on communication and navigation equipment for aircraft to fly in uncontrolled airspace are to be set to the simplest possible level.
By 2022, Mongolia plans to increase foreign, domestic, and private investment to MNT10 billion ($4.1 million) from the current MNT1 billion (2018), light aircraft to 35 from 17, emergency helipads to 10 from three, and airports to 116 from 20. In terms of flights, it targets growth of flight times in uncontrolled airspace from the current 125 hours to 800 hours, remote area flights from 176 to 3,500 hours, and mining flights from 1,130 to 2,850 hours. For manpower, Mongolia projects to have 130 GA experts, 150 private pilot certificate holders, and 25 training organizations. In addition, 60 MRO centers and 30 fuel supply stations are to be constructed by 2022.
The government encourages all sources of funding for the GA expansion program, including state funds, private investment, foreign aid and loans, and project financing. CAA Mongolia will be required to monitor the implementation of the program annually.