A $130 million contract between a Beijing-based aircraft manufacturer and a General Aviation company to supply 300 small aircraft within the next five years could become the new commuter solution in China.
The companies want to introduce ‘mini airports’ at over 160 countries in the province and provide a short-haul service for passengers within a low-flying network.
All the aircraft will be manufactured with a maximum capacity of ten passengers and will target business passengers to boost more than just the aviation sectors in China.
Due to the terrain in China, in general, the daily commute for many passengers would be greatly reduced with aviation routes, rather than using the roads. A 40km distance between two points can easily become 200km within the road network.
Chen Wei, Chairman of Beijing George Heintz Aircraft Manufacturing Co regularly takes a minimum of an hour’s drive into the City, but using aviation will cut the journey down to just 15 minutes.
The plan to open up low-altitude airspace is becoming an International trend, but is expected to be a fairly slow process in China. Government regulators are being asked to consider the new plans and the benefits to not only general aviation, but many business sectors of the province. It is hoped that plans can forge forwards within the next five years, although it seems unlikely that low-altitude regulations will be in operation before 2020.