Region VII: Middle East/Asia (MID)

Bookmark and Share

Unlocking Opportunities in China, the Industry's New Frontier

December 12, 2011

NBAA Flight Plan podcast interview with NBAA representative Jason Liao

Perhaps by now you have heard talk of China as aviation’s next frontier – a land of opportunity for manufacturers, flight operators and investors alike. Maybe you have even considered a move into this emerging marketplace but were not sure of the timing.

Jason Liao is sure. “It’s absolutely now.”

Liao is NBAA’s chief representative in Asia. With a remarkable range and depth of experience, Liao speaks with absolute certainty that China is the place to be for business aviation interests worldwide.

“Anyone interested in growing their business should be interested. China will be the world’s next big driver for the world market” in aviation, he predicted.

Liao, who has held senior positions at Bombardier, Inc., Hawker Beechcraft and Raytheon, was a founding member of the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA). He is now chairman and CEO of the China Business Aviation Group.

“The key thing right now is opening up the lower altitude air space,” Liao explained. Currently, flights over China are prohibited without prior approval of the military. However, the Chinese government has made general aviation a top priority over the next five years and is dedicated to opening the air space below 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) within that period of time. Business flights above that altitude will still require prior military approval, but Liao said that has not deterred business aviation growth in China. He predicts that country will outpace the U.S. as the world’s leading market for business aviation within the next decade.

As evidence of the growing demand for general aviation in China, Liao pointed to the number of aviation-related companies sprouting up there almost overnight.

“In the past year, there have been more than 50 new aviation companies started in China,” Liao said. Chinese companies have purchased Cirrus Design and Teledyne-Continental, and Liao forecast more such acquisitions over the next decade.

Liao said that is why he’s certain China is aviation’s new land of opportunity.

“Right now, China needs everything. It needs pilots, skilled aviation personnel, mechanics, designers, researchers, production specialists. If you are in the general aviation industry, you’d better come here and start looking at the opportunities in China,” he urged.

The perfect forum to gauge those opportunities and begin taking advantage of them is the Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE2012), which is hosted through a partnership between NBAA, AsBAA and the Shanghai Airport Authority. The event, which has been certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce, will run from March 27 to 29 in Shanghai. Liao said he expects a lot of business to be conducted at the conference.

“The good thing about China right now is that there’s an abundant amount of money available to invest,” Liao said.

Visit the ABACE2012 web site for more information.