China's General Aviation Market
Although China’s general aviation (GA) market is small relative to China’s size, growth prospects are robust.
General aviation flying hours are expected to reach 6.3 million hours by 2035, up from 984,000 hours in 2020. Some sources claim demand reached $29 billion in 2020. Concerns, however, remain over the military’s control of Chinese airspace.
Due to its size, China has many remote areas with limited transportation infrastructure. In these areas, general aviation investments can be a cost-effective solution for the movement of goods and people. The location and speed of investments in this market is largely driven by central, provincial, and local government economic development plans and deregulation. Best prospects for development include short-distance commuting, tourism, pilot training, air medical emergency service, agriculture, oil/gas, land survey, forestry, and news broadcasting.
According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), as of December 31, 2020, China had 523 general aviation companies with 2,844 aircraft and 313 certified general aviation airports. China also had a total of 41 pilot schools and 3,781 pilots for general and small transportation.
The current number of certified general aviation airports lags far behind the goal of 500 set in the 13th Five-Year Plan published in 2016. A larger network of general aviation airports is projected to develop as liberalization of government and military controlled airspace progresses pushes greater market demand.
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