Shanxi to form air tourism network
North China's Shanxi province will advance its development into a demonstration province for the general aviation industry, according to the 2020 provincial government work report released recently.
Hao Xiaoyi, chairman of Shanxi Aviation Industry Group and a provincial political adviser, explained that in 2020 Shanxi will operate three short-haul flight tourism programs themed around the Yellow River, Taihang Mountains and the Great Wall.
"We aim to attract more visitors to Shanxi through the flight tour programs, and it's the first step for the province to boost its general aviation industry," said Hao.
Located on the Loess Plateau where the climate is suitable for general aviation, Shanxi is an ideal market for expanding general aviation due to its rich historic, cultural and natural tourism resources.
The cradle of Chinese general aviation has been developing the industry since the 1950s with over 60 local counties and districts planning to build general airports and government departments of public security, forestry, surveying and mapping, and meteorology in strong need of increased aviation services.
Besides, the province has a good foundation in the production of carbon fiber, magnesium aluminum alloy, cockpit display systems, and other raw materials and components for the development of general aviation, Hao said.
Currently, Shanxi has opened short-haul flights to Hukou Waterfall on the Yellow River, Yanmen Pass which is a section of the Great Wall, and Baquan Gorge in the Taihang Mountains. These flights are operated by helicopters with a radius of not more than 40 kilometers and lasting no more than 20 minutes to attract more flying enthusiasts and tourists to enjoy Shanxi scenery from the air.
The province will next build an air tourism and transport network, including helicopter take-off and landing fields in key scenic spots with good aerial fields of view and suitable ground and air conditions, such as Luya Mountain, Yungang Grottoes and Mount Wutai. It will also open short-haul air tours to various tourist attractions and key airports.