FAA Helps Map China For VFR

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Talk about your VFR landmarks. How about a 6,000-mile-long stone wall? The Great Wall, as it's come to be known, is just one of the things mapmaker George P. Sempeles had to work with as he helped the Chinese begin the enormous task of creating VFR charts for the world's third-largest country. Sempeles, of Winchester, Va., works for the FAA's National Aeronautical Charting Office and recently spent time in China teaching government engineers how to create the charts. China, you see, is entirely IFR (i.e., controlled) airspace. But that's about to change as the country learns to like the things money can buy and private aircraft ownership is one of the reforms. "Their task now is to actually learn and implement the entire industry of general aviation," he said. Well, there are others willing to teach those skills and they'll most likely be at the China GA Forum 2004 May 25 to May 28. More than 100 representatives of China's burgeoning GA community will be at the conference. An American company, Uniworld LLC, is behind the forum and company spokesman Andrew Edlefsen said it's designed to explore the simultaneous creation of the seven fundamental requirements for GA: airports, GA operators, FBOs, aircraft manufacture and sales, pilot training, infrastructure equipment supply, and finance. Uniworld is inviting aviation-related companies to attend the conference.