The Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade in cooperation with the Czech Embassy in Ulaanbaatar is supporting GA development in Mongolia through the “Aid for Trade” project. The recipient of the aid is the Ministry of Road and Transport Development and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Mongolia. The project budget is MNT60 million ($25,000). The Czech Republic has 100 years of general aviation history and has a total of 36 GA aircraft factories that manufacture and export almost 60 types of aircraft of their own design.
Under the first phase of the project, Czech experts led by Petr Hyl, a board member of Czech General Aircraft company, visited Mongolia in late May and conducted training at Chinggis Khaan International airport in Ulaanbaatar, and at Sky-friends sport aviation airport, operated by Tomas Air LLC in Nalaikh district. Representatives of the Czech Light Aircraft Association and Shark Aero CZ, an ultralight aircraft manufacturer, have also been included. The Czech experts provided their counterpart with specialist training on how to develop a coordination system for sport aviation and to supply technologies to develop GA. The comprehensive system encompasses pilot training; certification; and procurement of aircraft, mobile airports, and radar systems. Jan Fridrich, vice president of the Czech Light Aircraft Association, commented, “We are glad to share our experience with Mongolia and we cooperate in the fields of license provision, tourism development, and knowledge sharing.”
Representatives also visited the ultralight aircraft development center (flight center) of Top Extreme Action Mongolia LLC, located in Central province. Shark Aero CZ provided briefings on its own light aircraft, and the flight center and other Mongolian private firms expressed their interest in purchasing such aircraft. This center, which opened in 2012, is a pioneer in Mongolian general aviation, providing air tours by Deltalet and AutoGyro. The center also runs a flight training facility with the program accredited by CAA of the United Kingdom and Mongolia. This year, the center launched primary gyro pilot training for expats in Mongolia. Alexander Amia, director of the company, said GA needs be developed in the environmental, emergency and border protection sectors.
Under the second phase, six Mongolian delegates undertook a study tour to the Czech Republic in August. The delegates experienced Czech’s GA operations by visiting flight centers and meeting with GA aircraft and flight technology suppliers. The Mongolian delegates will use the knowledge to increase the number of smaller air operators/airports and provincial airlines and will contribute to GA service development in the agricultural sector, medical services, rescue operations, and firefighting. The delegates also compiled estimates for the costs of operating GA airports.
The Czech Republic covers less territory than Mongolia but has more than 180 airports and airfields while Mongolia has only 10 active airports and 13 reserved airports, of which 19 are under the control of CAA of Mongolia and three are private. The Czech Republic has 19 international airports, 91 GA airports, and 22,486 certified pilots operating 2,733 sport aircraft at 80 sport aviation airports, according to the Czech Light Aircraft Association. In Mongolia, there are a total of 116 airstrips; some are in larger cities and towns, and others are agricultural strips mostly used during the Soviet era. The GA infrastructure network can be developed at these sites through establishing technical maintenance and service points, fuel supply stations, fences, and related signs.
The Czech Embassy in Ulaanbaatar supports the interconnection of the project with technologies from Czech manufacturers, such as Transcon’s modular airports and airport systems, or smaller and ultralight aircraft from Shark Aero and LET Kunovice, among others. As a result of the project, Mongolia has opened the door for Czech suppliers to access the local market. The expected commercial continuity of this project includes importing Czech modular airports, airport systems, and small airplanes. The project also has the advantage of enhancing the trade turnover of the two countries.
If GA can develop well in Mongolia, the country has the opportunity to expand GA training by sourcing trainees from Japan, South Korea, and China, who face high tuition due to airspace constraints.