Twenty-one Chinese delegates visited AOPA headquarters Thursday to participate in activities aimed at expanding their knowledge of general aviation operations. The group, from Air Traffic Services in China, met with AOPA staff members to discuss GA issues and learn about the GA industry in the United States.
"This was a tremendous opportunity for AOPA to assist in the future expansion of GA in China," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "The delegates experienced firsthand the benefits and challenges of general aviation in this country and learned about AOPA's role in international general aviation through IAOPA."
The Chinese delegates, who are involved in policy and air traffic control issues in their home country, participated in informational groups with AOPA staff to learn more about the role of GA in the U.S. economy and society. They also learned about aeronautical charts, airspace, and typical GA aircraft.
With China now looking into expanding civil aviation operations, AOPA staff members spoke to the group about issues of importance to GA in this country. Among the topics were user fees, access to airspace and airports, access to weather and other vital information, security requirements, and new technologies.
It was a highlight of the day for each member of the delegation to participate in an introductory flight flown by AOPA staff.
"They were particularly interested in Frederick Municipal Airport being a nontowered airport, the local airspace, the GPS equipment on board, and the fact that no flight plan or air traffic control services were needed for their local flights," said Boyer.
The delegates are executives-in-training and are in the United States for a six-month training exercise. China is currently planning to modify their airspace system to support increased civil aviation operations.
June 30, 2006