An employee demonstrates some of the facilities on a rescue aircraft at the 2017 Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition in Shanghai yesterday. The city is planning an airport for general aviation that will also accommodate rescue aircraft. (Photo: Shanghai Daily/Dong Jun)
Shanghai is planning a new airport for general aviation — which includes private and business jets — to relieve pressure on Pudong and Hongqiao, officials said yesterday.
It will serve both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters and be situated away from the two airports, said Jiang Huaiyu, director of the East China regional administration of the national civil aviation watchdog.
The airport will also be used for flight training, agricultural aviation and air ambulance services.
“It is necessary for Shanghai to build a third airport to satisfy demand,” Jiang said on the sidelines of the 2017 Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition at Hongqiao airport. The city government, airport authority and the administration have begun research on the plan, he said.
Jing Yiming, president of Shanghai Airport Authority, also said that “Shanghai is looking for a new site within the city to serve business jets.”
“The demands on the business jet market are huge in Shanghai,” Jing said.
Last year, Pudong and Hongqiao handled a record 6,136 business jets, up 10 percent on 2015. To satisfy demand, a new hanger facility for business jets is being built at Hongqiao for completion by April next year, while another business jet base is planned at Pudong airport.
“Shanghai's general aviation market has been expanding by 20 percent a year on average in recent years,” Jiang said, adding that 67 general aviation companies had been registered with the regional administration as of March. They own and operate 371 aircraft, he said.
Currently, general aviation aircraft had to use intervals between commercial flights at Hongqiao and Pudong. With a plane taking off and landing nearly every minute at both airports, it was difficult to spare time for general aviation, the administration said.
According to the Shanghai 2040 Master Plan, which details the steps to be taken to become an “excellent global city” by that date, one of the aims is to become a more open international hub.
To achieve that goal, according to the plans, Pudong and Hongqiao will focus on commercial flights and only have a few business jet services.
It mentions plans to build a major general aviation airport to the west of suburban Qingpu District to make better use of low-latitude airspace.
General aviation jets fly below 1,000 meters, while commercial flights are above that level.
That airport would mainly serve small and medium business jets.
Several smaller general aviation airports will also be built, according to the plans for Shanghai in 2040.