The growth of the sector will be promoted by comprehensive services like public transportation and social services that the newly built general aviation airports will provide.
The government aims to encourage policy-based and commercial financial institutions towards providing diversified financial services to support the construction of general aviation airports, and overall reducing the financing costs of enterprises– according to the statement released by the National Development and Reform Commission on Tuesday.
The local governments will adopt models like franchising and government purchasing services, to prevent local government debt risks, the statement also said.
During the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), the Civil Aviation Administration of China will appropriate civil aviation development funds to the building of one to two general aviation airports in different provinces. These airports should be dedicated to short-distance transportation, emergency relief and medical assistance.
The government plans to lay out comprehensive general aviation airports in urban clusters with high market demand, such as Beijin-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta – in order to provide more personal and efficient services. Those city clusters will also have hospitals near general airports, and will gradually set up general aviation medical assistance networks—which will allow the distances between hospitals and airports to be reduced to 30 minutes.
The statement also said that more general aviation airports should be built in areas with frequent natural disasters and near national highways to enhance emergency rescue capability by air.
“For long, the limited number of general aviation airports and inadequate support facilities have been one of the restrictive factors that hampered the growth of the general aviation sector,” said Lin Zhijie, an aviation industry analyst and columnist at Carnoc, one of China’s largest civil aviation websites.
It is projected that by 2020, China will have 500 general aviation airports, and more than 5,000 general aviation aircraft will be in operation. The industry’s value will exceed $1.5 bn, according to CAAC.
“The new policy will be beneficial to attract more social capital to be involved in the building of general airports, and help to improve the infrastructure of general aviation sector. Yet, the attraction of private investments not only needs the encouragement of government policies, it also requires profit incentives,” Lin said.