BEIJING Nov 21 China has simplified flight
approval procedures for private aircraft in a move that may lead
to the full opening of its under-developed general aviation
The move may provide marketing opportunities for companies
such as Cessna and Bombardier Inc who have
been eager to sell their pricy private jets in the world's
Under the new rule, jointly issued by the Civil Aviation
Administration of China (CAAC) and the military, companies or
individuals flying in a private jet or helicopter outside a
no-fly zone within the country no longer need to submit their
plans to the military. They only need the permission of CAAC.
The policy, effective Dec. 1, marks China's latest step in
easing its grip on air space since late 2010 when it opened up
low-altitude space for commercial jets in select cities,
industry observers say.
"It's good now that they've eased the control all over the
country, not just in those pilot cities. But the market for
general aviation is still in the initial stage and it's hard to
say how fast it could grow," said Jefferies Hong Kong analyst
Liu Boyong. "We don't have enough airports for small jets."
The more immediate beneficiaries are general aviation
service providers, such as Citic Offshore Helicopter Co Ltd
, as the new rules would cut back the paper work for
flight approval and improve their operating efficiency, industry
Citic Offshore Helicopter jumped to its daily trading limit
shortly after market opened on Thursday. Company executives
could not be reached for comments immediately.
By 2020, China's fleet of general aviation aircraft is
expected to rise to 10,000, up from 1,200 currently.