November 11, 2009
Apr. 19, 2004 - Six representatives from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) visited AOPA recently to learn more about general aviation in the United States. The People's Republic of China is considering relaxing some of its airspace restrictions to allow its citizens easier access to GA.
"China faces a formidable challenge in expanding VFR flight," said AOPA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Melissa Bailey. "After spending the day with the delegation, we have a stronger appreciation of the freedoms we have as pilots in the United States. VFR flight in China is very limited, and the CAAC is studying America's robust general aviation community as an example."
One of the challenges facing the Chinese is VFR charting. They've already hosted a delegation from the FAA's National Charting Office to discuss the issue. Another challenge is radar and radio coverage. CAAC regulations require that all air traffic be controlled, but China does not have the equipment necessary to maintain low-altitude contact throughout the vast country.
According to published reports, the CAAC has set no timeline for expanding GA in China. The country currently is focusing resources on developing more high-altitude commercial air routes.
MVP Aero is developing a $189,000 light sport amphibious seaplane that doubles as a camper and is expected to fly in 18 months, with deliveries in 2017.
The FAA will miss a deadline to reform aircraft certification by two years, the agency told the House Aviation Subcommittee during a July 23 hearing.
AOPA is testing whether aircraft ownership can be more affordable than many people believe with the development of “Reimagined Aircraft.”
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