General aviation development takes off in Shanxi



The 2019 Yaocheng (Taiyuan) International General Aviation Flight Conference in Taiyuan, Shanxi province [Photo/Shanxi Daily]

The efforts of North China's Shanxi province to develop into a demonstration province for the development of the general aviation industry have proved successful in recent years.

The general aviation industry is a strategic emerging industry system, with general aviation flight activities at its core, and covers the entire industrial chain of general aircraft R&D and manufacturing, market operation, comprehensive support and extended services. It's one of 14 strategic emerging industry clusters being developed in Shanxi.

The province has made breakthroughs in infrastructure construction, market entity incubation, multi-functional business development, and the air show economy. 

An air transport system with one core and six branches is ready to engage in the general aviation business. The province has built three general aviation airports in the cities of Taiyuan, Datong and Changzhi, nine aviation camps and four campus aviation camps. 

After years of development, Shanxi has developed a general aviation manufacturing industry with local features. 

The province has formed four general aviation industry clusters in Taiyuan, Datong, Jinzhong, and Changzhi, and scientific research efforts into hybrid drones and general aviation avionics systems have continued to increase.

In the field of raw material R&D, Taiyuan Iron & Steel (Group) Co's series of products have become the main carbon fiber supplies for the national aerospace industry. Enterprises such as SPIC Shanxi Aluminum Co are developing pitch-based carbon fibers, aluminum (magnesium) alloy materials, and titanium alloy materials to be applied to aviation airborne products. 

In addition, 11 companies in the province have carried out unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturing. 

As for innovation, AVIC Taiyuan aero- Instruments Co and Taiyuan Zhidian Technology Co have strong market competitiveness in terms of aircraft and ground equipment. Shanxi has established the College of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Taiyuan University of Technology, the Institute of Aerospace Technology at North University of China, and the Shanxi General Aviation Vocational and Technical College, forming an aviation professional training system.


The 2020 Civil Aviation and General Aviation Development Conference in Taiyuan [Photo/Shanxi Daily]

Due to the implementation of policies and project introduction since 2019, Shanxi has entered a new era in the general aviation industry. 

So far, the province has opened nine short-distance air transport routes, becoming the province with the highest density of short-distance transport routes in China. 

In addition, Shanxi General Aviation Group has developed low-altitude air tour services in key scenic spots such as the Ancient City of Pingyao, Mianshan Moutain, Jinyang Lake, and Taiyuan Ancient County. 

The application of general aviation in agriculture and forestry, meteorology, emergency rescue, medical rescue, environmental monitoring, and aerial inspection is expanding, and the scale of the general aviation business, such as aviation sports, aerial surveying and mapping, aerial forest protection, and aerial seeding, has been leading the country. 

In addition, the air show economy has developed rapidly. The province has successfully held events such as the Yaocheng (Taiyuan) International General Aviation Flight Conference, the 2020 Civil Aviation and General Aviation Development Conference, and the 2021 General Aviation High Quality Development Forum, introducing high-quality resources in the international and domestic general aviation industry.