Civil aviation authorities should increase the number of trained airworthiness certification professionals to help boost exports of Chinese aircraft, according to an industry insider.
Tang Jun, deputy general manager of AviChina Industry and Technology Co Ltd and a national lawmaker, told China Daily on the sidelines of the fifth session of the 12th National People's Congress in Beijing that airworthiness certification is a major obstacle hindering overseas sales of Chinese aircraft.
"A Chinese-made aircraft must have airworthiness certifications from the United States' Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency before it is allowed to be sold in Western markets, but there is a huge shortage of airworthiness certification professionals in China, resulting in a lack of experience and slow progress," Tang said, adding that authorities have not paid due attention to this issue.
He said he hopes the government allocates more funds to airworthiness certification and increases the number of trained professionals.
A well-staffed airworthiness certification team will enable China to gain enough experience and expertise in the industry and, consequently, will allow the nation to promote its own standards to the international market.
"If our airworthiness standards can be recognized and adopted by the international aviation community, it will be easier to export our civil aircraft. Currently, if a foreign government wants to prevent Chinese aircraft from entering its market, it can use disparities in standards to delay giving Chinese companies access," he said.
Tang's company is a subsidiary of the state-owned aircraft giant Aviation Industry Corp of China and specializes in the export of helicopters, training planes, utility aircraft and regional airliners as well as aircraft parts.
Airworthiness reflects an aircraft's suitability for safe operations. An airworthiness certificate is initially conferred by a national aviation authority and maintained by performing the required maintenance actions.
Regarding the Y-20F-100, a civilian version of the Y-20 military transport plane under development at the AICC, Tang said the aircraft is aimed at the large number of orders from Chinese express delivery companies, as the cargo jet features a big carrying capacity and low fuel consumption.
Designers said the Y-20F-100 will be capable of carrying 28 airfreight containers, or 65 metric tons of cargo, as well as supersized engineering equipment. It has a maximum range of 8,000 kilometers, they said.
Currently, almost all large freight planes used by cargo airlines and express delivery businesses on the Chinese mainland were bought from foreign countries, according to AVIC.