China to Lift Aviation by Simplifying Approval for Low Altitude Flights
As the country aims to lift aviation by streamlining the time it takes for the approval of low altitude flights for private and commercial aircraft. The State Council and Central Military air traffic control commission has already agreed to simplify flight approvals for all general aviation by next year.
The new changes applies to all civilian flights except by those schedules passenger airlines are covered in the national aviation legislation that is due to be drafted early next year. Based on the survey by the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the country has 226 general aviation companies and around 1,786 general aircraft and the numbers is expected to surpass 5,000 in six years with an annual growth of 19 percent a year. General aircraft ranges from helicopters to private jets that are designed to operate in low altitude airspace which is 1,000 meters and below.
But any application for such flights even for emergency search and rescue efforts needs to be approved by various authorities since the airspace is tightly controlled by the military and approval must come from them along with the CAAC and local governments as well. The changes will be based on a trial program that was launched in 12 cities which took the military out of the approval process.
Although the country was slowly opening up its low altitude airspace but still needs time as the country needs a more sophisticated air surveillance and control system since its military radars have limits in detecting aircrafts flying in low altitude and once opened up the existing radar system will have blind spots.