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Demand powering growth in nation's civil aviation industry

2020-2-4 12:08

 

Opening more airspace, general airports key to sector's expansion, say experts

Burgeoning consumer demand in the general aviation sector for business travel, flight sightseeing tours and individual entertainment flying will keep growing in the years ahead, and that demand is expected to drive the growth of the general aviation sector in China.

Last year, the flying hours in general aviation reached 1.13 million hours, rising 13.8 percent year-on-year. Most flying hours comprise flight training, short-distance transportation, and general aviation tasks such as law enforcement and medical assistance, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

Some flying sports such as parachute jumping, stunt flying, hot balloon rides, and gliders have become increasingly popular, particularly among thrill-seeking Chinese consumers.

The market scale of the sector has reached 200 billion yuan ($29.15 billion), said the General Administration of Sport of China.

"Those flying sports have relatively low thresholds and costs, and the public will get easy access to them. We should build more flying sports venues at professional fields, general aviation airports, scenic spots, urban parks and schools," said Lei Yin, deputy director of the industrial development department at the General Administration of Sport of China.

"By providing richer consumer products and lowering the bar of flying sports to attract more people to engage in the sport, it can help drive the development of the general aviation sector," he said.

China aims to ultimately build 20,000 flying venues, according to a statement on speeding up the development of sports consumption that was released by the State Council in 2014. China has developed more homemade flying equipment and related vocational training and personnel to support the growth of flying sports.

Last year, there were 246 certified general aviation airports nationwide and the number exceeded that of commercial airports in October, the CAAC said.

The government said it will encourage and attract private investment to help build more general aviation airports to provide more comprehensive services such as public transportation and social services.

This year, the authorities concerned will further lower the institutional costs of the operation of general aviation companies and support the construction of more general aviation airports in urban clusters with high market demand. This includes areas such as the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The further growth of the general aviation sector also requires speeding up the process of opening low-altitude airspace, more general aviation airports, and a good flying environment, industry experts explained.

"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.

"The attraction of private investments into the general aviation sector needs not only the encouragement of government policies, but profit incentives," he said.

Separately, the middle-and high-end tourism market in China has yet to be developed fully.

For most scenic spots such as mountains, canyons and resorts in the country, travelers need to drive for about two to three hours from the closest airports. The government could build more general aviation airports near those places so travelers can take helicopters to those areas, industry experts suggested.

"The consumer market of general aviation should be the backbone and most attractive segment of general aviation in China. We should further stimulate the general aviation consumer market. It will also be the breakthrough point for the growth of the industry," said Gao Yuanyang, a professor at Beihang University.

At this time, the United States has around 20,000 general aviation airports and more than 70 percent of general aviation aircraft globally are delivered to the US, data from the Qianzhan Institute for Industrial Research showed.

A sightseeing tour aboard a helicopter is quite common in the US. At the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, travelers can take a 30-minute helicopter flight from the nearby city of Las Vegas, while driving there takes about four hours and 30 minutes.

Travelers to the Grand Canyon can also take helicopter tours for a bird's-eye view of the spectacular scene from the air. More than half a million visitors take the helicopter tours annually, the national park said.

On the other hand, the number of registered unmanned aircraft reached 392,000 in China last year and their commercial flying time reached 1.25 million hours, the CAAC said.

"Heavy-load unmanned helicopters that have high performance and reliability are in severe shortage. Sectors such as emergency fire fighting and rescue, military transportation, and civil logistics will have high demand for such helicopters and there is ample room for growth," Wang Qiang, a researcher of unmanned flying systems at Beihang University, said.

"We need to put in more investments in research and development, and self-develop more heavy-load, highly cost-efficient, unmanned helicopters with independent intellectual property rights."

 

专家表示,开放更多空域和一般机场对航空行业的扩张至关重要


未来几年,通用航空行业对商务旅行、飞行观光旅游和个人娱乐飞行的消费需求将持续增长,预计这一需求将推动中国通用航空行业的增长。


去年,通用航空的飞行时数达到113万小时,同比增长13.8%。据中国民用航空局(CAAC)称,大多数飞行时间包括飞行训练、短途运输以及执法和医疗援助等通用航空任务。


跳伞、特技飞行、热气球和滑翔机等飞行运动越来越受欢迎,尤其是在寻求刺激的中国消费者中。


中国国家体育总局表示,该行业的市场规模已经达到2000亿元(291.5亿美元)。


“这些飞行运动的门槛和成本相对较低,公众将很容易获得它们。我们应该在专业领域、通用航空机场、景点、城市公园和学校建设更多的飞行运动场馆。”


“通过提供更丰富的消费产品,降低飞行运动的门槛,吸引更多的人参与这项运动,它可以帮助推动通用航空行业的发展,”他说。


根据国务院2014年发布的一份关于加快体育消费发展的声明,中国计划最终建造2万个飞行场馆。为支持飞行运动的发展,中国研制了更多的自制飞行设备和相关的职业培训和人员。


中国民航总局表示,去年全国共有246个经认证的通用航空机场,10月份的数量超过了商用机场。


政府表示,将鼓励和吸引私人投资,帮助建设更多的通用航空机场,提供更全面的服务,如公共交通和社会服务。


今年,有关部门将进一步降低通用航空公司运营的制度性成本,支持在市场需求大的城市集群建设更多的通用航空机场。这包括京津冀地区、长江三角洲和粤港澳大湾区。


行业专家解释说,通用航空部门的进一步发展还需要加快开放低空空域的进程,更多的通用航空机场,以及良好的飞行环境。


“长期以来,通用航空机场数量有限,配套设施不足,一直是阻碍通用航空业发展的限制性因素之一,”航空业分析师、中国最大民航网站之一Carnoc的专栏作家林志杰说。


他表示:“吸引私人投资进入通用航空领域,不仅需要政府政策的鼓励,还需要利润激励。”


另外,中国的中高端旅游市场还有待全面开发。


对于国内大多数的风景区,如山区、峡谷和度假胜地,游客需要从最近的机场开车大约2到3个小时。行业专家建议,政府可以在这些地区附近建造更多的通用航空机场,这样旅客就可以乘坐直升机前往这些地区。


“通用航空的消费市场应该成为中国通用航空的支柱和最具吸引力的部分。进一步刺激通用航空消费市场。北京航空航天大学教授高元阳说。


据前瞻工业研究所的数据显示,目前美国约有2万个通用航空机场,全球超过70%的通用航空飞机交付给美国。


乘坐直升机观光旅游在美国很常见。在亚利桑那州的大峡谷国家公园,游客可以从附近的拉斯维加斯乘坐30分钟的直升机,而开车到那里大约需要4小时30分钟。


到大峡谷的游客还可以乘坐直升机从空中鸟瞰壮观的景色。国家公园称,每年有50多万游客乘坐直升机观光。


民航总局表示,另一方面,去年我国注册的无人机数量达到39.2万架,商用飞行时间达到125万小时。

 

“高性能、高可靠性的重载无人直升机严重短缺。紧急消防救援、军事运输、民用物流等行业对此类直升机的需求将会很高,有足够的增长空间,”北京航空航天大学无人驾驶飞行系统研究员王强表示。


“我们要加大研发投入,自主研发更多重载、高性价比、拥有自主知识产权的无人直升机。”

 

原作者: Zhu Wenqian 来自: china daily