Shenyang county aiming to be nation’s ‘ light aircraft capital’
General aviation-related companies are setting up shop in aeronautic hub
Faku, a county near Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province, has lofty aims. It wants to be China’s “light air capital” with an annual production of 1,000 light aircraft within five years, as well as a center for developing technology and talent in the industry.
Spurred by the burgeoning domestic private jet market, Faku has experienced rapid growth at its Faku General Aviation Base, one of the largest in the country.
“A dozen general aviationrelated research and production institutes and companies have set up shops in the base and several other projects are under discussion,” said Wang Dawei, director of the administrative committee of the base.
The annual output value of the base is expected to reach 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) within five years, he said.
George Heintz (China) Aircraft Manufacturing Co, a branch of the United Statesbased light aircraft producer, established a plant at the base with an investment of 1.65 billion yuan, Wang said.
Faku is the first base in Northeast China that will make super-short takeoff and landing aircraft. The first planes are due on the market in June, said Wang. A general aviation club will be set up at the base to train pilots.
Bai Yang, chairman of Liaoning Pacific Industrial Co, said his company has invested 560 million yuan at Faku on production facilities for light aircraft.
He hopes the first batch of planes of his company will debut at the end of the year, and he said the company has received about 900 orders.
The main products are twoand four-seat light aircraft, and the majority of the customers are flight enthusiasts, he said.
“China has huge market demand for light aircraft, and the development of the aircraft production industry will also stimulate other industries, such as financial services, civil aviation and aviation logistics,” Bai said.
“General aviation is the foundation of a country’s aviation industry. As a new, burgeoning industry in China, it
China has huge market demand for light aircraft, and the development of the aircraft production industry will also stimulate other industries, such as financial services, civil aviation and aviation logistics.” BAI YANG CHAIRMAN OF LIAONING PACIFIC INDUSTRIAL CO
plays an important role in consolidating national defense and promoting economic development, but we still lag some distance behind many other countries, especially in training,” said Liu Yi, China’s longestserving pilot and chief pilot at the Liaoning Academy of General Aviation.
Bai agreed, saying: “The industry started relatively late in China. We must speed up the pace of developing experts andattachmoreimportance to proprietary intellectual property research and development, design and production.”
The Faku General Aviation Base became the country’s experimental low-altitude airspace (flying heights lower than 1,000 meters) aviation service station in September 2010. Faku’s experience will serve as the model for China’s other general aviation bases.
The experimental base status gives Faku flexibility.
“Generally, a pilot must submit low-altitude flight plans to the aviation authorities days or even a week ahead of time. But at our base, we only need to report plans two hours before a flight,” said Feng Shouquan, Party chief of Faku county. The base has four parts: R&D, manufacturing, training and leisure tourism, he said.
Faku has been hosting the Faku Flight International Conference for the past two years. It’s one of the top three air shows in China. The flight international conference has invited aerobatic pilots from more than 20 countries including the US, Canada, Britain and South Africa.
The third Faku Flight International Conference will be held from Aug 27 to 31. Contact the writers at email@example.com and wuyong@ chinadaily.com.cn Liu Ce contributed to the story.
An international light aircraft event takes place in Faku. The county near Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province, aims to be China’s “light air capital” with an annual production of 1,000 light aircraft within five years, as well as a center for developing technology and talent in the industry.