High-speed rail launch expected to reduce airspace congestion and clear skies for GA

FlySky Academy plans to open Taiwan’s first professional flight training school next year with a fleet of four Diamond DA40s and two DA42s.

Managing director Leo Liu says the DA40s will be delivered in the first quarter of next year and be used to train an initial batch of 100 pilots, who will be enrolling in FlySky’s ground school at the end of this year. FlySky, which now sends its students to the Philippines for flight training, hopes to launch a private pilot course at Taitung in southern Taiwan in the third quarter of 2006 if the government follows through on its promise to open up its airspace to general aviation. A commercial pilot course will be added after the twin-engined DA42s are delivered in late 2006.

General aviation access to airspace is made possible by the opening of a high-speed rail line later this year, which is expected to lead to a 40% cut in commercial domestic flights. New regulations authorising private aircraft ownership in Taiwan are set to be implemented in early 2006, but Liu and chairman of the Taipei General Aviation Association Wilson Kao warn there could be delays.


General aviation companies, including FlySky and Sunrise Airlines, are preparing to take advantage of the new rules. Kao, who is executive vice-president of Sunrise, plans to acquire a Raytheon Hawker 800 or Bombardier Learjet 60 and launch Taiwan’s first business jet charter service.

FlySky expects to train 150-250 pilots annually after the Taitung campus opens.


Source: Flight International