General aviation in China

In late November the southern China city of Zhuhai hosted a large collection of aircraft at Airshow China. We’ve been hearing about this once-closed country in matters of aviation so often, readers might be interested to see some photos taken by LAMA Europe’s Jan Fridrich.

He also works for the Czech Light Aircraft Association and many Americans recognize his name as the man who does the hard work to gather figures for regular LSA market surveys appearing on

China_Airshow-1 China_Airshow-2 China_Airshow-3 China_Airshow-4 Another aviation businessman, Will Escutia, one of the new owners of Quicksilver Aeronautics, also traveled to China recently. Visiting dealer prospects in the north of that large country, Will reported that he sees four main forces driving the opening of aviation in China: (1) airspace below 3,000 meters is opening to civilian aircraft; (2) high interest in flying follows that airspace opening; (3) the government is concerned about the economy and aviation is seen as helpful; (4) entrepreneurs are jockeying to take early advantage of the burgeoning market.

Will also observed the limitations to growth: Bureaucracy and regulations that stifle faster development; the need for aircraft Type Certificates with costs that are still too high; a need for a commercial pilot license; laws that hold a pilot responsible for any death, a deterrent to wealthy Chinese; and flying between cities remains prohibited so pilots can fly only about 60 kilometers around airports — and you need to land where you took off.


  1. Kevin says

    I heard somewhere that China is in extreme need of 50,000 pilots by 2015. I have a flight school here in the U.S. and have trained hundreds of european aviation enthusiasts. Did you foresee a large influx of student pilots coming to the U.S. for training?

    Country flight school

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