WASHINGTON, D.C. — China will have a greater effect on the manufacture of general aviation aircraft than it will on commercial airliners, a Senate committee was told Thursday at a Congressional hearing discussing. domestic challenges and global competition in aviation manufacturing.
Although most discussion during the hearing centered on manufacturing of large aircraft, production of general aviation aircraft has many of the same considerations. Boeing and Airbus are the two principle manufacturers for large passenger aircraft, but general aviation has a variety of producers here and in other nations.
Dr. Keith Crane inserted in his comments that China is likely to affect general aviation production. He said the one area where China is likely to be more successful than in commercial aviation is general aviation, “smaller aircraft used for private, charter, or corporate use.”
China has been buying its way into the international market, he said. China’s state-owned enterprise active in general aviation has acquired Cirrus Aircraft, a U.S. manufacturer. It has also recently signed a joint venture agreement with Cessna to assemble the Citation model in China. Crane is director of Rand Corporation’s environment, economic and development program.
An important part of manufacture in China, the committee was told, is to make certain that parts used in China meet the same safety standards as those produced here. To this end the FAA has been active. That program needs to be expanded, said Dr. Gerald Dillingham, director of aviation issues in the General Accountability Office, a watchdog group.