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November 9, 2011

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Private jet facility at Hongqiao

The business aviation base at Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai has been licensed as the first "4S store for private jets" on China's mainland, with an annual capacity of doing maintenance for 40-plus jets.

The license enables the Hongqiao base to conduct repair and maintenance work on various kinds of private aircraft.

"It can save large costs for the jets," said Jing Yiming, president of Shanghai Hawker Pacific Aviation Service Center in Hongqiao. Take the Hawk-4000 private jet, Jing said. It had to be flown to Singapore for repair in the past, a journey taking five hours. Now the plane can land in Hongqiao to save time and cost.

Projected demand is strong enough that plans are being made to build the city's second such facility at Pudong International Airport, said Jing.

Jing said he expected "the potential demand is huge around the Yangtze Delta region" and Shanghai "shall catch this opportunity." The gradual opening of lower air spaces will also help the industry grow, said the airport operator.

Shanghai has seen more business trips and a rising number of private aircraft in recent years. The city's two civil airports handled 2,900 movements of business aircraft this year so far, while the market demand is expected to surpass 3,200 movements, about one third of the country's total.

The Hongqiao base, opened in March last year, has a terminal, a 4,000-square-meter hangar, a 2,000-square-meter maintenance center, and three gate positions for private aircraft.


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