SW China begins trial operation of interprovincial low-altitude air route

2024-March-15 14:11 By: Xinhua

This photo taken on March 13, 2024 shows a Cessna 172 aircraft at an airport in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.(Xinhua/Li Fuyu)

CHONGQING, March 14 (Xinhua) -- A demonstration flight from southwest China's Chongqing Municipality to Zigong City, in the neighboring Sichuan Province, was completed under the Visual Flight Rules (VFR) on Wednesday, marking the launch of an interprovincial low-altitude air route in the region.

Operated by a Cessna 172 aircraft, the flight adopted VFR, which allow the pilots to fly by using visual references, such as landmarks on the ground and other aircraft.

Low-altitude airspace's vertical height from the ground ranges from 1,000 meters to 3,000 meters. The new route is like an interprovincial highway built in the low-altitude airspace. All aircraft that operate via this regular route can enjoy shortened flight application time and streamlined approval procedures, said local authorities.

On the same day, Chongqing and Sichuan also inked a memorandum of cooperation on the coordinated management of low-altitude airspace, detailing meteorology information sharing, supporting services, regional short-distance transportation and so on.

Currently, the route is still under trial operation. Regular flights are expected to begin in the second half of this year.

By the end of 2023, the size of China's low-altitude economy is estimated at more than 500 billion yuan (about 70 billion U.S. dollars), with its scale expected to rise to 2 trillion yuan by 2030, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China. ■

Editor: JYZ
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