Sonex Expands Efforts In China


Sonex aims to work with local partners to promote the idea of home-building airplanes from kits in China, the company said this week in a news conference at EAA AirVenture. Sonex will work with Francis Chao, of the Beijing Aviation Technology Company, to promote its line of kit airplanes and help grow the base of aviation enthusiasts in the country. “[Chao] clearly has the right vision for GA in China, and the tenacity to make it happen,” said Mark Schaible, general manager of Sonex. BAT has established a new Aviation Education Center in Beijing, where the companies hope to attract new people to aviation.

The downtown location of the Center will “attract people off the street,” Schaible said. “We want to bring the private citizen into aviation.” The current aviation infrastructure in China supports training mainly for the airlines and military, Schaible added, with little infrastructure in place to support private flying for business or recreation. “In order for privatized GA to grow and succeed in China, a network of private A&P and flight schools must be established,” Schaible said.

Listen to a podcast interview with Chao by AVweb‘s Elaine Kauh on the future of personal flying in China.