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Skies opening to civil aviation

Updated: 2014-11-24 08:00
By Zhao Lei (China Daily)

Skies opening to civil aviation

A Spring Airlines plane at an airport in Nantong, Jiangsu province. Low-cost airlines are set to take off in China. [Provided to China Daily]

China will deepen its reform of low-altitude airspace management to boost the general aviation industry, as the reform of airspace management has entered a crucial stage.

The reform should aim at promoting the development of the general aviation sector, meet the public's needs for air service, and focus on building a safe, efficient and convenient low-altitude airspace management mechanism, Vice-Premier Ma Kai told an aviation meeting in Beijing on Saturday.

General aviation refers to all civil aviation operations other than scheduled air services, and ranges from helicopters to private jets.

The vice-premier told government and military authorities to improve the legal framework governing low-altitude airspace and streamline approval procedures.

According to a statement published after the meeting, an aviation law - which has been called for by many industry insiders for a long time - has been included in the legislative agenda.

Progress is being made in the revision of regulations on flight control and management of airspace use.

"The government has realized that the general aviation industry is becoming a new engine to our economy and that the rapid development of this sector largely depends on the opening of airspace," said Luan Dalong, an aviation expert in Beijing who is close to policymakers.

"I think the low-altitude airspace management regulation, which is soliciting opinions from the public, will be issued and implemented within a short period of time," he said. "Actually, some local authorities have loosened the control on low-altitude airspace over the past three years to facilitate general aviation services."

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