Pudong Airport to build business jet base amid booming growth

Shanghai Airport Authority plans to build a large business jet base at Pudong airport for the long-term development of the city's aviation industry.
Dong Jun / SHINE

Visitors admire the interior of a business jet on display at Hongqiao International Airport yesterday. 

SHANGHAI Airport Authority plans to build a large business jet base at Pudong airport for the long-term development of the city’s aviation industry.

The plan for business jet base has been included in the general planning of Pudong International Airport, which is undergoing expansion to increase its capability and efficiency for both commercial and general aviation, said Wu Jianrong, the president of the airport authority.

“The number of business jets that take off and land at Shanghai’s two airports has been increasing by 10 percent annually in the last five years,” Wu said at the opening session of the 2018 Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition at Hongqiao airport yesterday.

The Pudong and Hongqiao airports handled around 6,600 business jets in 2017, a 9 percent increase year on year and nearly 25 percent of the total on the Chinese mainland, the airport authority revealed yesterday.

The Shanghai Airport Authority has built the Shanghai Hawker Pacific Aviation Service Center at Hongqiao airport with two hangars — both of which are in use — but Wu said the growing business jets sector means the operations will gradually shift to Pudong airport from Hongqiao in the coming years.

Industrial zones will be developed near both the airports to attract service industries for business jet trade, leasing, maintenance and pilot training, Wu added.

The fast growth rate is expected to continue through 2035 when Shanghai aims to become an “excellent global city.”

Under the 2035 blueprint, the city will make land available in Qingpu District to build another airport to handle a surge in business jets.

Furthermore, several small airports will be built near the mouth of the Yangtze River in the city’s north and Hangzhou Bay in the south.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China has issued a batch of supportive policies to develop aviation in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, said Jiang Huaiyu, director with the East China Regional Administration of the CAAC.

The airworthiness certificate for general aviation companies, for instance, has been simplified along with the threshold for part-time business jet pilots, Jiang said.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is also expected to lead to the growth of the aviation sector, he added.

The east China region has 438 general aviation jets — more than 30 percent of the mainland’s total — along with 594 pilots, Jiang said.

About 170 of the top business aircraft makers and operators, including Airbus, Boeing and Canada’s Bombardier, are displaying about three dozen cutting-edge planes at the Hongqiao airport for the exhibition, which ends tomorrow.

The exhibition, which is being held for the seventh year, allows potential buyers to check out the new jets and for industry leaders to discuss the emerging Chinese business aviation market.

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