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China approves first aviation service base for business jets

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SHANGHAI, Nov.8 (Xinhua) -- China's provisions for executive flying took a major step forward on Tuesday, when Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport was licensed as an aviation service base specifically for business jets, according to an airport official.

The license means business jets can be repaired and maintained on the Chinese mainland for the first time.

The certificate for aircraft maintainance was issued by the East China Regional Administration of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said Jing Yiming, vice president of the Shanghai Airport Authority.

It marks out the airport, with facilities for parking, maintainance and extensive repair, as a major service base for business jets in the Asian-Pacific region, he said.

Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Center, one of the leading aircraft service companies, will manage the base after it was authorized by business aviation giant Hawker Beechcraft.

Up to this point, business jets in the Asian-Pacific region were mostly maintained in Singapore. With the emerging market of China's business aviation, the base will offer choice and cost savings to clients, said Jing.

Completed in March 2010, the business jets service base in Shanghai includes a 3,100 square meter air terminal, one 4,000 square meter aircraft hanger, a parking apron and professional staff. It is expected to maintain over 40 business jets.

In November 2010, China's State Council, or Cabinet, and the Central Military Commission jointly released an order to open part of the country's low-altitude airspace in order to promote the general aviation sector and encourage the purchase and use of private planes.

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