Operators should be aware of a new regulation from the CAAC before flying to China. At the end of December, a meeting was held by China Civil Aviation Authority and other concerned authorities that announced a new regulation concerning all operators and airlines flying into the country.
Anyone familiar with operations to China will be aware of the country’s strict approach to landing permit approval. A local sponsor letter has always been an absolute must for all business jets, no matter where they plan to land. Many operators traveling to China for pleasure have faced difficulties because they didn’t have a local sponsor and because a tourist agent does not qualify as a sponsor. Under the new regulation, a sponsor letter to airports of entry is no longer required. However, the requirement remains unchanged for non-AOE airports, and a government letter and navigator remains a requirement.
This new policy means more convenience for operators and is an indication of China becoming more open to foreign flights. However, the CAAC has also stated that it will manage the permits approvals more strictly.
Here’s my advice on how to plan your next trip to China:
- The purpose of the flight must be stated clearly in the application (such as tech-stop/ferry delivery/or through diplomatic channels…etc.), CAAC’s system will automatically distribute the application to the concerned department by distinguishing keywords.
- A flight can only be revised twice.
- All cancelation requests must be sent to CAAC before 0700z and at least one working day before the operation.
- All new requests and request revisions must be sent to CAAC before 0400z and at least one working day before the operation.
- Slot distribution priority will be given to new requests over revised requests regardless of the reason.
- All revision and cancelation requests sent to CAAC later than the approved schedule will be taken as violations. If violations occur for over 20% of applications in a two-month period, CAAC may refuse to grant any approvals.
- For big aircraft with less than 30 seats flying to China for business purposes, the aircraft must be filed with CAAC as early as possible.
Several slots restrictions apply at some airports:
- A business jet cannot occupy two slots during peak hours (0100z-1359z) at the following airports: ZBAA, ZSSS, ZSPD, ZGSZ, ZGGG.
- There are no take-off or landing slots for business jets between 0700L-0900L (2300Z-0100Z) at the following 21 airports:
ZBAA, ZBTJ, ZYTL, ZSSS, ZSPD, ZSHC, ZSNJ, ZSQD, ZSAM, ZSFZ, ZGGG, ZGSZ, ZHHH, ZGHA, ZJHK, ZJSY, ZUUU, ZUCK, ZPPP, ZLXY, ZWWW.
- ZBAA: Between 2200z-1559z, only two slots are issued per hour. One for foreign registered aircraft and one for domestic aircraft.
- ZSSS: Between 1600z-2159z, the CAAC will not issue permits for landing or take-off.Between 2300z-1459z, foreign registered aircraft are not allowed to operate to or from the East/Northeast.
For more details on the new regulations or operational information for any other airport, contact us. Our regional office is located in Beijing, and we have station managers available at several major airports in China.