China has pledged to make greater efforts to promote the “fast and healthy” growth of its aviation industry, Xinhua reports.
The country’s vice premier, Ma Kai, made the remarks at an industry meeting on airspace management on Saturday. The event was designed to tackle the bottlenecks currently facing the country’s aviation sector, including the opening up low-altitude air space for commercial use.
The majority of China’s airspace is controlled by the military, and the rapid expansion of the civil aviation sector has led to severe congestion in the skies. In a bid to alleviate this, the country is looking at opening up more low-altitude air space, although Ma stressed that “many problems remain to be solved” before this can be achieved.
And the Civil Aviation Administration of China’s (CAAC) deputy director, Wang Zhiqing, added that limited air space is just one of the aviation issues China currently faces.
“The bottlenecks facing the general aviation industry are not only airspace resources, but also a lack of general aviation airports, temporary landing sites, fuel supply and pilots,” Wang said.
China currently operates a fleet of 1,786 “general aircraft”, including private jets and helicopters, but this fleet is expected to increase to 5,000 by 2020, with an annual growth rate of around 19%.