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Other voices embrace Chinese Business Aviation

Representatives of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and operators of business aircraft in North America embrace projections that Business Aviation will grow impressively in China. They see factors such as China’s interests in international markets- its vast geographical expanse and its need for transportation in regions without a network of roads or rail- as strong drivers for expanding the use of aviation for economic development and enhanced quality of life.

Pete Bunce- President and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA)- reflects the strong interest of GAMA’s members in China as a region where there is a large and growing need for Business Aviation.

“We are extremely excited by the opportunity for business aircraft to be a significant factor in the economic growth of China-” commented Bunce. “All of our members are delivering their products there- and they are planning for continuing growth in that market.

“The Chinese government is making a concerted effort to ease restrictions that have somewhat impeded the use of Business Aviation. Less lead-time is required for filing flight plans now than in the past- and the whole process for accessing airspace is becoming easier and more efficient—more user friendly. Yes- there is room for improvement- but progress is being made.

“Not only do Chinese businesses and entrepreneurs need the advantage of Business Aviation to participate in opportunities internationally-” he continued- “ the demand for intra-country travel throughout the vast regions of China has created a significant requirement for all classes of business aircraft- from helicopters to small and mid-size designs as well as larger aircraft.

“Business Aviation is an ideal answer for bringing commerce to many locations throughout China. Consider the need for business aircraft to serve both domestic and international markets- coupled with the policies of the Chinese government to encourage this sector of air transportation: we believe all the news is good.”

GAMA is an international association that draws its members from companies based throughout the globe participating in the manufacture of Business and General Aviation products. The association works closely with government agencies- such as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)- to enhance cooperation and harmonize regulations that facilitate Business Aviation.

GAMA is developing effective relationships with Chinese aviation authorities- frequently hosting delegations that are developing policies affecting Business Aviation in China.

“We see aviation policy for China moving in the right direction-” Bunce outlined. “While we encourage our Chinese counterparts and policy leaders to expand the aviation infrastructure in areas such as airport development- ground services at airports and airspace access- we are encouraged by the level of interaction and mutual respect that characterizes our interaction.

“GAMA is committed to being helpful in the development of Business Aviation in China. We are planning to have permanent GAMA presence in China (most of our Members have representatives in China) and we are dedicated to expanding the level of understanding and cooperation between our communities.

“China’s awareness of the unique capabilities of business aircraft is increasing- and GAMA will continue to be a positive- as well as a respected element in that movement.”

Hearing from Operators of Business Aircraft

Steven J. Brown- Senior Vice President for Operations and Administration at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) likened the need for Business Aviation in China to the factors that stimulated use of business aircraft in the USA.

“Both countries are large-” Brown noted- “with concentrations of population along both nations’ coasts- but with a significant demand for travel into interior regions. Similar geographic and demographic factors exist in other countries- such as Australia- where Business and General Aviation are transportation tools- bringing the flow of commerce to rural areas.

“In China- government policy supports the development of Business Aviation- and leaders look to the USA and Australia as models to be examined and understood-” he added. “For well over a decade- members of the Chinese government have worked with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on issues such as airspace management and air traffic control.”

Brown was with the U.S. FAA from 1998 to 2004- serving in several capacities including FAA Associate Administrator for Air Traffic Services- before joining NBAA in 2004.

“They studied the regulatory codes used for aviation in the USA as well as in Europe and other regions of the globe- and apparently their choice tends to follow the U.S. framework. Filing flight plans is becoming less time-consuming- and access to lower altitudes used by helicopters has expanded significantly. Also- China’s manufacturing and operating sectors in aviation have grown impressively- beginning with the scheduled airlines and now progressing into the manufacture of aircraft. (Airbus and Boeing have facilities in China- and ownership of both Cirrus Design light aircraft and Teledyne Continental Motors is now Chinese.)

“From the actions taken by the Chinese government- we see stable growth of the aviation sector in China ahead-” Brown concluded.

The oldest of the U.S.-based associations formed specifically to serve the needs of companies that use business aircraft as industrial aids (i.e.- tools to support and enhance their industrial and business activities)- NBAA is noted for extending its expertise to similar groups throughout the globe that address the use of Business Aviation as a means for economic expansion and improved quality of life.

In the early 1980s- the Association was a leading factor in the formation of the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC)- the body that has observer status with the prestigious International Council of Aviation Organizations (ICAO)- based in Montreal. NBAA’s Management Guide is a standard for best practices among operators of business aircraft and was one of the pivotal documents in IBAC’s creation of International Standards for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO).

NBAA also is a partner with the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) in the highly successful European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE)- held annually in Geneva- Switzerland. The Latin American Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (LABACE)- held each year in San Paulo- Brazil under the auspices of ABAG (the Brazilian association representing Business Aviation in the region) was also founded in cooperation with NBAA.

NBAA’s role in supporting Business Aviation in China dates back to the end of the 1990s when the association held its first seminar on business aircraft issues- in Zhuhai- and has continued with the formation of the Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE)- which began in the mid-2000s and is next scheduled for March 27-29- 2012 at the Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Centre in Shanghai.

In addition to ABACE- NBAA will participate in the organization and implementation of a Safety Symposium for operators in China. Details are yet to be announced.

“NBAA recognizes the importance of the Asian region to the future of Business Aviation- and we will continue to work very closely with our exhibitors and colleagues at the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) to promote the growth of Business Aviation in that part of the world-” promised NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen.

Read more about: Business Aviation in China | Aviation Associations

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