Over the past year the Hartzell team has been dramatically ramping up our presence in China’s aviation market. We believe pilots everywhere should have access to the safest, most reliable and most advanced aviation products, and the growing interest in general aviation inside China demands particular attention. To meet this rise in demand, we have appointed a Managing Director for China and established a Type Certificate Validation Department focused on speeding up international approval of our propellers. These efforts have resulted in the expedited approval of a number of our props by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
The Chinese government is also making moves to address the growing desire for general aviation opportunities. According to a story from the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), China’s current draft five-year plan includes major spending for new aviation infrastructure. The Planning Director for CAAC, Zhangyi Wang, said the draft plan anticipates more than 50 new regional airports will open by 2020.
NBAA reported one piece of information of particular interest to the Hartzell team:
Two caveats about the emphasis on GA aerodromes are runway length and operating altitudes, noted Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president of regulatory and international affairs. GA airports are currently built with runways that are 1,000 meters (3,281 feet) long, too short for most business jets.
While this is an issue that will need to be addressed in the long term to promote growth in China’s business aviation market, it does create opportunities for piston and turboprop aircraft. The Piaggio Avanti Evo and the TBM 900, the fastest civilian twin engine and single-engine turboprop aircraft, respectively, both received propeller certifications from the CAAC in 2015.