China's persistent efforts in strengthening its general aviation sector has been paid off in the nationwide fighting against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
As of Feb. 12, 105 general aviation companies around the country, including 75 companies in the business of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), had joined the fight in one way or another, according to preliminary statistics from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
Various general aviation aircraft have been used to deliver emergency supplies, conduct aerial patrol, spray disinfectant and carry out public education.
A total of 558 of various kinds of general aviation vehicles conducted around 1,250 flight hours in 4,648 flights, carrying more than 47 tonnes of medical and other emergency supplies.
The general aviation sector is playing unique roles in fighting against the epidemic, thanks to the diversified functions of general aviation vehicles including helicopters, unmanned vehicles and small-and-medium general airplanes.
As of Feb. 12, the general aviation sector has completed more than 2,400 incidents of disinfection, and 704 aerial inspections and other aerial operations.
China has listed the general aviation industry as one of the strategic emerging industries and taken measures to encourage its development.
As a result, the industry has seen surging flight hours and more certified general airports. As of the end of 2019, China had 246 certified general airports.
In a statement Thursday, the CAAC said the advantages o general aviation should be put into full use in the fighting against the epidemic and urged local aviation authorities to improve its service to business operators and cut various fees.