Authorities in China opened 93 new general aviation airports in the first half of this year, Xinhua reported this week, bringing the total number of GA airports nationwide to 173. The country now has a total of 404 airports, including 231 civil airports. Authorities have said China plans to open 200 new GA airports by 2020, bringing the total to about 500, and then expand to about 2,000 over the next 10 years. (By comparison, the U.S. has about 5,000 GA airports, and about one-third the population of China.) Also in the first half of the year, 118 new general aviation aircraft were registered in China, bringing the total to 2,415, and flight hours were up about 15 percent from the year before.
Chinese officials are in Brazil this week at LABACE 2018 (Latin American Business Aviation Convention and Exposition), working to expand their aviation sector and find new markets for their 18-passenger Y-12E twin turboprop commuter. “We are commercializing the first Chinese plane, with an eye to opening a plant in (Brazil),” Jose Santos, a Brazilian representative of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), told Xinhua.