The development and production of the Dragon 600, intended to be the world's largest amphibious aircraft, has received government approval, AVIC General Aircraft Company Ltd said Wednesday.
The company said research had begun on the proposed craft.
The Dragon 600, which would be as large as an Airbus 320, could be used for tasks such as emergency rescue, fighting forest fires and sea patrols, said Hu Haiyin, deputy general manager of the company.
Hu said that market research indicated a domestic market for 60 such craft in the next 15 years.
The research and design stage would last for four years, with commercial production to begin in at least five years, Hu said.
The company's facilities are southwest of the Zhuhai airport. The first construction phase is scheduled for completion in 2012 and the company plans to have 1,500 employees.