China Shows Support For GA Growth
Jinggong General Aviation Co., a Beijing-based company that is the sole dealer for Cirrus Aircraft in China, will move to the small Huanghua airport about 150 miles outside the city and upgrade it for use as a flying club to help promote the growth of private aviation, China Daily reported this week. Although GA has been slow to grow in China -- only about a half-dozen Cirrus airplanes per year are sold there -- the government has shown a willingness to gradually open airspace below 2,000 feet for private airplanes, according to China Daily. The Huanghua airport was built about six years ago as a base for crop-dusting flights, and has been in use only about two months per year.
The China Daily story also implied that Cirrus is interested in moving its manufacturing facilities to China, but Ian Bentley, Cirrus vice president and managing director of international sales, told AVweb that is incorrect. "We have absolutely no plans to move manufacturing to China," Bentley said. "We don't see any benefit in manufacturing in China to ship planes to America." However, he said, if in the future the Chinese market matures, "we'll absolutely look at manufacturing in China for the Chinese market." But that is not likely to happen soon. "Obviously, at half a dozen airplanes a year, we won't be building airplanes in China," Bentley said. Cessna and Diamond also have been working to sell GA airplanes in the Chinese market.