China GA Growing Slowly


China has taken stock of its general aviation industry and participation and is now reporting that there are 509 “general aviation enterprises” open and 2913 non-airline and non-military aircraft flying in the country. “China has listed the general aviation industry as one of the strategic emerging industries and taken measures to boost its development,” the Chinese publication Shine said in a terse report on statistics supplied by the Chinese government this week. It also said that modest activity represents a significant increase in private aviation action. “These numbers represented 81.1 percent and 30.3 percent increase respectively (for 2016-2020) compared with those by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015),” the publication reported.

While the GA boom that many Western companies were betting on hasn’t materialized, the drone market does seem to be growing more quickly, which would make sense since China is the biggest manufacturer of small unmanned aircraft. “In the period, the country has seen more than 9,700 registered enterprises focusing on general aviation operations with UAVs,” the report said. “The total number of China’s UAVs for commercial operations has exceeded 120,000, showed the CAAC data.”

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. am I the only one to notice that most of the shown models emerging in Chinese GA seem pretty similar to our American designs? No! they wouldn’t be copying ours, would they? Rick, ret. UAL 400 Captain

    • Well, some of the shown models seem to be purchased from European and North American manufacturers, so no surprise that they look similar. International trade in aircraft is a thing. Also, last time I looked, Chinese aerodynamics and physics are similar to US aerodynamics and physics, so I expect that domestic Chinese designs will look pretty similar to US designs — in the same way that Boeing airliners look pretty similar to Airbus and Russian airliners: single tube fuselage, swept wings, rear empennage, etc. Or were you just trying to be condescending to Chinese aerospace?

      • > Or were you just trying to be condescending to Chinese aerospace?

        Stop acting as an apologist for the CCP.

        Chinese companies have bought most of the US small GA companies. Probably most of the tooling will end up in China.

        See Tiger 6’s comment for a partial list of companies now owned by China.

    • Hmm, the first three airplanes are European and the next three appear to be American? Looks like good business for the western world to me.

  2. The Chinese government owns Cirrus, Diamond, Mooney, Superior Air Parts (which supplies Lycoming), Teledyne Continental, Icon, Southern Avionics, United Turbine, Mooney and others. These are not investments designed for profit, but rather vehicles to project China’s strategic objectives. China could, for example, shut down GA in the US simply by closing its engine plants, Continental and Superior Air Parts.