China’s Aviation Industry Continues to Outperform

November 29, 2016 | Author: Steven Lien

During the recent Air Show China in Zhuhai I found myself reflecting on just how far the Chinese aviation industry has come in recent years and – just as importantly – how it continues to expand at a much faster rate than the global aviation market overall.

China’s Aviation Industry Continues to OutperformSince my first visit here in 2004, I have watched China become a major global player in aviation and a force to be reckoned with for the foreseeable future. As a leading provider of aviation solutions that improve safety, efficiency and passenger comfort, Honeywell is in a unique position to assess the future of China’s aviation industry – and that assessment is very positive.

We continue to see fantastic growth in the next 10-12 years in a number of areas.

For example, expansion will continue in the airline sector, driven by continued rapid growth of the economy and fast urbanization of the population. The government has strong commitment to support aviation infrastructure and new aerospace technology.

According to the 13th Five Year Plan, about 50 new major airports will be established to accommodate the growth in air travel. We estimate that we will see 6-7 percent annual growth in passenger traffic, airplane acquisitions and total flying hours in the next two decades. That is very exciting for all of us in the aviation community.

In addition, we are going to see tremendous growth in helicopter usage across China, with 20 percent growth in the number of helicopters last year alone. Demand is being driven by the need for helicopters to support missions in law enforcement, emergency medical services and natural resources, primarily mining and oil exploration.

Furthermore, the opening up of business and general aviation will contribute to growth in the industry.

As a result of these favorable projections, we will see an increase in aircraft purchased from Western companies such as Boeing® and Airbus®, but also from Chinese manufacturers including COMAC, AVIC and others.

China’s Aviation Industry Continues to Outperform

Honeywell is proud of our contributions to the thriving Chinese aviation industry over the past number of years. Working closely with our world-class customers, partners and vendors we are involved in many of the country’s most critical aviation, aircraft and airport initiatives.

We will continue to support the airlines and other operators with maintenance solutions, upgrades and retrofit solutions to make their fleets safer, more efficient and more comfortable. The Global Xpress (GX) Aviation service is a great example. This next-generation solution from Honeywell and Inmarsat will provide passengers with high-speed, inflight Wi-Fi access comparable to the service they experience on the ground. GX Aviation has been rolled out globally by this November.

Singapore Airlines will start the GX Aviation service on its Boeing® 777-300ER and Airbus 380-800 aircraft later this year. We also are working closely with Air China on the installation and test of GX Aviation on Air China’s Airbus 330 fleet next year and are discussing launch plans with other airlines in China.

We recently surveyed more than 3,000 Chinese pilots and cockpit crew members, 53 percent of whom were first officers and 36 percent line captains. They expressed the greatest concern about harsh weather and air congestion issues. Honeywell has solutions for these concerns.

Our IntuVue® 3-D Weather Radar provides pilots real-time, accurate weather information, helping them make right decisions faster in all phases of flight, avoiding hazardous weather and ensuring passenger comfort.

Meanwhile, the SmartPath® Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS) is the world’s only certified, satellite-based navigation and precision landing system. It provides a cost-effective solution to increase airport capacity, decrease air traffic noise and reduce weather-related delays.

Honeywell continues to focus on collaborations with aircraft manufacturers in China. We are very excited about the COMAC ARJ21 regional jet beginning regular service between Shanghai and Chengdu, on flights operated by Chengdu airlines.

We also look forward to the upcoming first flight of the COMAC C919 airliner with four Honeywell systems onboard: the auxiliary power unit, air data and inertial reference system, flight control electronics, and the wheels and brakes.

Honeywell is working closely with AVIC and other manufacturers in China on various other programs. For example, the Y12-F certified by FAA earlier this year, flies with Honeywell’s Primus Apex® integrated avionics system.

We are passionate about developing local capability in China and the APAC region. We have five aerospace joint ventures in China, including two manufacturing sites supporting both local and global customers.

We have more than 500 aerospace engineers in China, working on existing technologies and future developments. Recently, they played a vital role in developing the Mandarin callouts for the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System. This is the first non-English aural-alerts helicopter cockpit system to be approved by the FAA. The system upgrade will help reduce cognitive workloads for Chinese-speaking pilots by increasing recognition of warnings, providing proven and potentially lifesaving performance for helicopter pilots.

China’s Aviation Industry Continues to OutperformOverall, the future looks bright for the aviation industry in China and throughout the APAC region. All of us at Honeywell are proud of our contributions so far and we are committed to continuing our strong local presence and to helping the industry grow and evolve in the coming years.

Steven Lien

Steven Lien

President, Honeywell Aerospace-Asia Pacific (APAC)

Steven Lien was named president of Honeywell Aerospace Asia Pacific in February 2016. He is responsible for all strategic growth initiatives across the region.

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