Xinhua. The on-highway vehicle industry is not the only transportation segment growing rapidly in China. China’s general aviation sector will grow at an annual average rate of about 10% percent over the next five years, according to Yang Guoqing, Vice Minister of General Administration of the Civil Aviation of China (CAAC). General aviation services air cargo transport and industry but not commercial passenger traffic.
Flying time of China’s general aviation aircraft has reached 84.9 thousand hours—three times as much as in 1978—and is expected to reach 140 thousand hours by 2010. Last year, general aviation air traffic reached 26.13 billion ton-kilometers, which is the number of tons of cargo multiplied by the number of kilometers flown.
China, which has the second-most air traffic in the world, now has 570 general aviation aircraft, 235 more than in 2002. According to official figures, China is estimated to require 12,000 general aviation aircraft by 2012.
In 2005, an executive with Rolls Royce predicted that China alone will account for one tenth of the world’s aviation market in next 20 years, with a market value of US$34 billion, thanks to the country’s high demand for new aircraft.
Steve Miller predicted that over the next 20 years, China’s aviation traffic will grow at 9% year-on year, the world’s fastest growing market. Rolls Royce expects that the aviation market in the entire Asia Pacific region will surpass that of Europe by 2008, and will be the biggest global market in 2022. (Xinhua)
According to forecasts from the US Federal Aviation Administration, the US general aviation fleet will increase from 214,591 aircraft in 2005 to 252,775 in 2017, growing 1.4% a year. General aviation hours flown are forecast to increase from 28.3 million in 2005 to 33.3 million hours in 2010 and 41.1 million in 2017, an average annual growth rate of 3.2% a year.
Assuming all projections are met, US general aviation traffic—in terms of hours flown—will be 238 times that of China’s in 2010.
Along with that increase in US general aviation traffic comes a concomitant increase in fuel consumption. From 1.3 billion gallons of aviation fuel consumed by general aviation in 2005, consumption will more than double to 3.1 billion gallons in 2017.