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China is positioned to capitalize on the benefits of Business Aviation. The central government recognizes the significant contributions that transportation via business aircraft provide- and is actively seeking to understand and facilitate the role of Business Aviation as a component of China’s air transportation system.

We applaud the leaders of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for their enlightened approach to Business Aviation. They appreciate the advantages that on-demand transport via air- using chartered as well as company-owned aircraft- will bring to the development of commerce through their vast nation.

Domestic- as well as international trade will be enhanced by the efficiency of travel provided by business aircraft. The privacy and security of a business jet enables entrepreneurs and policy leaders to work productively en-route- thereby aiding business development in the world’s second largest and fastest-growing economy.

Working with the USA’s Federal Aviation Administration for more than a decade- CAAC experts have explored the aviation infrastructure as well as the operational and regulatory environment that has enabled Business Aviation to be such an important component within the US air transportation system.

We are encouraged by progress made to date in facilitating permits for airspace and airport access- but look forward to additional policy changes that will benefit China by reducing impediments to the use of business aircraft.

Access- Cost and Regulation

Access is a requirement for capitalizing on aviation’s advantages- and access can be impeded in three basic ways: by absolute prohibition to airspace or airports; by excessive costs to obtain access; and by overly burdensome regulations that waste time and rob business aircraft of their versatility.

Business Aviation should have access to as much airspace as possible- not simply those routes that are available to the scheduled airlines. Business aircraft can fly higher and more efficiently than most airliners and they should be encouraged to utilize their performance advantages for the benefit of Chinese commerce as well as the overall goal of greater efficiency in travel.

While it is encouraging to see government policies favoring airport development- more landing facilities are now needed to utilize the value of Business Aviation.

We have been pleased to see that some of the delays in obtaining flight plans are becoming a thing of the past too- with many domestic charter flights obtaining fast clearance. Business needs prompt response to travel demands - thus procedures for obtaining landing permits and the issuance of flight plans should be streamlined.

Costs must be reasonable: Operators of business aircraft are businessmen- and they have a keen eye toward value. The growth of Business Aviation is hurt by high costs. Part of the government’s five year strategy is to reduce such costs for support operations (such as flight training schools and charter companies) wishing to import aircraft. We applaud this- along with the initiative taking place at Tianjin with its special tax zone helping to reduce the high import duty on business aircraft coming into the country.

Rising economy
As the Chinese market evolves- there will be a need for more aircraft charter and management service companies along with a likely need for more partnerships with companies from more mature Business Aviation markets. We are witnessing the political desire to change. Many aircraft transactions are in US dollars- so there is a great deal of opportunity for further cooperation with the West.

While it may be some time- if ever- before civil authorities are granted governance of China’s ATC system- perhaps the ongoing work with the US Federal Aviation Administration and Airbus will point to a methodology that is more oriented toward civilian- rather than military oversight.

In the USA and Europe- air traffic control is the purview of civilian authorities- even though many ATC resources in the USA are owned and operated by the military. Policies and procedures still exist- however- for the US military to assume control of airspace and aircraft in times of national emergency.

Ultimately- Business Aviation is a tool for leveraging the creativity of China and its business leaders. Chinese aviation authorities are to be congratulated for their recognition of Business Aviation’s value to the economic growth and well-being of their nation.

Read more about: Business Aviation in China

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