By AOPA ePublishing staff
Think about the freedom you have as a general aviation pilot. What would you do if a majority of the airspace in the United States were under military control? How would you deal with having to wait days before obtaining clearance to fly?
That is what a GA pilot in China is required to deal with.
So to help the country's GA industry spread its wings, an air traffic services group from China met with AOPA staff members on Sept. 21 to discuss GA issues and learn about the GA industry in the United States.
As a GA pilot in America, you have the opportunity to fly for business, charity, and pleasure. In China, however, aviation has been regulated, taxed, and priced to the point where the average person or small business cannot afford it.
It was an AOPA team effort to help the Chinese delegates, who are involved in policy and air traffic control issues in their home country, learn more about the role of GA in the U.S. economy and society. This included discussions about user fees, access to airspace and airports, access to weather and other vital information, security requirements, and new technologies.
To create a similar mindset, members of the delegation participated in activities aimed at expanding their knowledge of GA operations. They learned about aeronautical charts and airspace and took an introductory flight flown by AOPA staff. VFR flight (and the fact that no flight plans or air traffic control services were needed) and the GPS equipment on board were of particular interest.
AOPA will continue efforts to help China make better use of its airspace and create a healthy environment for GA.
September 25, 2007