CHINA / Regional

China's general aviation sector takes off
Updated: 2006-05-29 06:10

China's general aviation aircraft, which services air cargo transport and industry but not passenger traffic, are expected to see their time aloft greatly expand to 140 thousand hours by 2010 said Yang Guoqing, Vice Minister of General Administration of the Civil Aviation of China (CAAC).

Speaking at the the International General Aviation Industry Exhibition held Sunday in east China's Shandong Province, Yang said the country's general aviation sector will grow at an annual average rate of about 10 percent over the next five years.

He said flying time of China's general aviation aircraft has reached 84.9 thousand hours, three times as much as in 1978. Last year, general aviation air traffic reached 26.13 billion ton-kilometers, which is the number of tons of cargo multiplied by the nubmer of kilometers flown.

He said the rapid development of the sector provides domestic and foreign plane makers with huge business opportunities.

China, which has the second most air traffic in the world, now has 570 general aviation aircraft, 235 more than in 2002. According to official figures, China is estimated to require 12,000 general aviation aircraft by 2012.