18 May 2016 Current Affairs: China plans to build more than 500 airports by 2020 to create a market worth over USD 153 billion for its general aviation industry.
According to a guideline issued by China's central cabinet, the country will have more than 500 general aviation airports in a number of places, including major agricultural and forest regions and over 50 per cent of five scenic tourist spots by 2020.
It also plans to increase the number of general aircraft, including helicopters and private jets, to more than 5,000 by 2020.
According to the latest data released at the end of 2015, China had more than 300 airports, 281 enterprises and 1,874 aircraft.
Total annual flying time reached 732,000 hours last year. On May 12, China had announced plans to invest USD 723.8 billion in the next three years to improve the country's well laid out infrastructure which includes development of airports to boost investment-led growth to halt the economic slowdown.
The action plan includes 303 projects covering railways, highways, waterways, airports and urban rail transit with 131 projects to be taken this year, 92 projects in 2017 and 80 projects in 2018.Chinese economy slowed down to 6.9 per cent last year and the government hopes to achieve a GDP growth rate between 6.5 per cent to seven per cent this year.China will encourage private investment in the general aviation sector, boost pilot training and expand the use of general aircraft in disaster relief, emergency medical services and environmental monitoring, as well as national land and resources exploration