Washington, D.C.—The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) today welcomed the announcement by the Chinese government that effective December 1st the requirement to obtain flight mission approval for many general aviation (GA) flights within China will be eliminated. This change is in keeping with China’s plans to develop the general aviation industry, as outlined in the 12th Five Year Plan. It is also consistent with the State Council and Central Military Commission’s 2010 announcement on the deepening of low altitude airspace management reform.
GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said, “We commend the government for taking this initial step and we look forward to the pending release of further regulations that more clearly define the altitudes specified for GA operations. With this change, general aviation now has the opportunity to do in China what it does best: to link people and communities, provide emergency medical and disaster relief services, and significantly contribute to economic vitality.”
Under the new procedures, operators of GA flights will still be required to file flight plans but they will no longer need to obtain prior flight approval. However, GA operations in nine specific categories—including border areas, prohibited zones, and aerial photography over sensitive areas—will continue to require prior flight mission approval and the use of transponders.
“General aviation airplanes and helicopters are uniquely suited to bring the benefits of rapid access to medical care as well as economic growth and prosperity to more people, but they need accessible airspace and sufficient infrastructure to do this effectively,” Bunce added. “GAMA will continue to offer its strong support for the continued reform of airspace and we look forward to further liberalization of altitude restrictions to accommodate growing demand.”