Manufacturer aims to increase shipments next year following CAAC certification

Cirrus Design is targeting sales of up to 12 aircraft in China in the next year, after gaining certification for the SR20 and SR22 from the country's aviation authority in late July.

The approvals from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) will allow the company to develop "market specific products" for its Chinese customers, says Cirrus.

"Some of the avionics, for example, are applicable only for the US market. Therefore, there might be some slight modifications to cater to the needs of the Chinese market," says Peter Claeys, Cirrus regional director for China and South-East Asia. "The CAAC's certification basically means owners in China can now automatically obtain an airworthiness certificate and operate the aircraft under Chinese registration."

Cirrus has been demonstrating its SR22 GTS in China since May

The company's Shanghai-based China sales team has been demon-strating an SR22 GTS since May. Claeys admits that the Chinese market is at an infant stage despite significant interest, which could eventually lead to high growth in demand for general aviation.

"Apart from a few exceptions, very few people are allowed to fly private aircraft in China. The airspace is restricted and there are strict regulations on the use of airports," Claeys says. "The potential is huge in China, but it will take a little time."

Cirrus, along with various other companies, is talking with the Chinese authorities about easing regulatory red tape that is constraining the growth of general aviation. "China and South-East Asia are vital to Cirrus's growth. General aviation is growing in the region, and we want to be at the forefront of that," says Claeys.

Source: Flight International