A delegation of high-level officials from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) experienced American general aviation firsthand on a trip to AOPA Aviation Summit Sept. 24.
The delegation, which was visiting the United States for the 2011 U.S.-China Aviation Summit in Washington, D.C., took a trip to Hartford, Conn., in Citation jets provided by AOPA and Cessna Aircraft. The officials toured the Connecticut Convention Center exhibit hall, where cutting-edge aircraft designs like the Sikorsky X2 high-speed technology demonstrator and Terrafugia Transition roadable aircraft were on display.
After spending some time on the exhibit hall floor, CAAC Aircraft and Airworthiness Certification Department Deputy Director General Shijun Yin said through an interpreter that the X2 and Transition in particular attracted his interest. He added that many of the GA tools on display will be able to be applied in China, although airplanes must comply with international agreements before they can be exported to the country.
The flight to Bradley International Airport that morning demonstrated the flexibility of GA in the United States; Yin said that China also has corporate aircraft, but that they “have to meet a lot more complicated approval process”—and so it is easier and more convenient to fly corporate aircraft in the United States.
Visiting delegates also included the head of the Chinese GA directorate, the head of the Chinese resource allocation division air transport, two presidents of Chinese universities, and the directors of five transport sectors within provinces of China. After their visit to AOPA Aviation Summit, they returned to Washington, D.C. for the 2011 U.S.-China Aviation Summit, sponsored by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and the CAAC. AOPA President Craig Fuller and other GA leaders addressed the group, discussing topics ranging from pilot training to business aviation infrastructure.