Deyang, a city in Sichuan province, is set to become an important base for the nation’s general aviation industry, according to the city’s industry development plan released during an air show earlier this month.
The 2017 Sichuan International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition was held in Deyang from Sept 29 to Oct 3. It attracted more than 200 domestic and international exhibitors, displaying 120 aircraft, as well as related equipment and components.
About 300,000 people visited the five-day show, watching the stunning performances of the world’s top five aerobatics teams and seeing the exhibits.
A number of cooperative agreements were signed between local and foreign aviation companies, such as Sichuan Airlines and Airbus.
The host city of Deyang is known for its solid foundation in the general aviation industry.
General aviation refers to all civil aviation operations other than scheduled air services.
Deyang has 41 enterprises involved in the development and production of aircraft, components, materials and special equipment for the aviation industry.
The city also holds a leading position in aviation-related education and training in China. It is home to the Civil Aviation Flight University of China, Asia’s largest flight training institution, which has trained 90 percent of the pilots in China.
According to Zhao Hui, mayor of Deyang, the newly released plan will be implemented in two phases, further consolidating the city’s position in the industry.
By 2020, the city will have more than 400 general aviation aircraft, Zhao said.
The mayor added the existing airport in Guanghan will be expanded and a new airport will be built in Shifang, both county-level cities within Deyang. Heliports will be built in every county of Deyang.
The plan projected that the scale of the local general aviation industry will reach 20 billion yuan ($3 billion) in 2020.
During the second phase, ending in 2030, the city predicted it will have 750 general aviation aircraft and the industry will achieve a scale of 100 billion yuan.
Deyang is one of the best examples of the rapid development of civil aviation in Sichuan province, according to the local authorities.
Sichuan now has 13 airports, with seven open to general aviation services. The province plans to have 27 airports for general aviation and 17 companies involved in the industry. It also plans to have 320 aircraft for general aviation purposes.
Along with the rapid growth in civil aviation in Sichuan, more and more industry players have invested in the province.
On July 18, leading European aviation components manufacturer Gardner Aerospace held the groundbreaking ceremony for its production plant in Chengdu.
According to Wang Lizhi, a board member of Gardner, the project will involve a total investment of 600 million yuan. In the first year of operations, the plant will be able to produce 1 billion yuan worth of products and output is expected to amount to 3 billion yuan annually in the years to follow.
The plant will be Gardner’s largest production facility worldwide, Wang said.
Sichuan is also a major national aircraft and aircraft engine production base.
The local authorities projected the output of aviation and combustion engine industry will amount to 80 billion yuan this year and 150 billion yuan in 2022.
In Chengdu, the provincial capital, the aerospace sector is one of the city’s economic pillars. The city authorities predict that the scale of the industry will reach 50 billion yuan this year and 120 billion in 2022.