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Shanghai plans to provide lift to aviation industry

Zhu Wenqian
Updated: May 13,2018 6:53 AM     China Daily

China’s domestically produced C919 large passenger jet is expected to get its certification-with mass production to begin by 2020-and the CR929 widebody aircraft is expected to receive orders by that year, according to a three-year plan for bolstering the country’s aviation manufacturing industry unveiled by the Shanghai government.

The ARJ21, the country’s first domestically made regional passenger jet, is expected to reach an annual production rate of 30 jets by 2020 with delivery of 60 aircraft by then, according to the plan released on May 10.

It is part of China’s efforts to build a complete aviation manufacturing industrial chain in Shanghai, with large aircraft manufacturing and civil aviation engine development at its center.

Shanghai will support the research and development of the technologies and materials for aircraft engines and back research into engines by local enterprises, universities and scientific research institutions, according to the plan.

“By 2020, Shanghai is expected to achieve a total output value of 50 billion yuan ($7.89 billion) for its aviation manufacturing industries, and by 2035 that value is expected to reach 300 billion yuan,” the plan said. “That will lay a solid foundation for building a globally influential aviation manufacturing industrial cluster in Shanghai.”

The C919 has completed several milestones since its maiden flight in May of last year. The model has received 815 orders from home and abroad, and the first deliveries are expected in 2021.

The CR929, a long-range, twin-aisle aircraft that is now in the R&D phase in China and Russia is about to have an engine provider selected. The Shanghai government will help push cooperation between local companies and foreign engine makers and strive to land some assembly and maintenance projects of foreign providers for the city, according to the plan.

The local government will also guide financial institutions in supporting the growth of aviation manufacturing sectors in Shanghai and promote the creation of an aviation industry development fund by policy banks with a scale of more than 10 billion yuan. It will also help to attract more venture capital and private equity funds to the sector and invest in and acquire some key companies at home and abroad, according to the plan.

“The manufacturing of commercial aircraft is a systematic project and it requires hundreds of suppliers and a high-end manufacturing chain. The plan will be beneficial for the development of several homemade passenger jet models, and it will help to attract more high-end technologies and talent to Shanghai and promote the economic growth of the city,” said Lin Zhijie, an aviation industry analyst and columnist at Carnoc, one of China’s largest civil aviation websites.