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In 2006, Switzerland-based Tag Aviation expanded into the Asian market with the opening of a subsidiary in Hong Kong. The jet operator provides aircraft management, charter and maintenance services throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Headed by CEO Jolie Howard, Tag Aviation Asia has positioned itself as a top operator in the Asia-Pacific region. While, like many operators in the region, the company focuses much of its attention on China, Tag Aviation Asia is now giving special attention to the Greater Bay Area. The company is set to operate an FBO at the Macau International Airport, where it hopes to cater to the growing demand of business jets based in the region.

Why is the Greater Bay Area Initiative important? 

The Greater Bay Area is a significant contributor to the Chinese economy. This initiative offers a chance for more connectivity. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge was already opened and now with the existing high-level highways and rail transit, traffic on both sides of the Pearl River Estuary will be more convenient. 

This area establishes a firm land transport link between the east and west banks of the Pearl River. It enhances the economic and sustainable development of all three places — Guangdong Province, Macau and Hong Kong. Not only does it provide opportunities in aviation, but also for logistics centers, cargo hubs, real estate, and the retail and service industries.

The Greater Bay Area is a significant contributor to the Chinese economy. This initiative offers a chance for more connectivity.

What are the factors required to promote GA? 

There are several challenges that need to be taken care of. Although the Chinese Government has lowered the altitude airspace there is still much more that needs to be done. Airspace among these three areas needs to have a common set of regulations. Secondly, there needs to be established flight routes connecting the Greater Bay Area to the inside of China, as well as to main airports outside of China. Thirdly, airports — particularly those with FBO and MRO facilities — need to cater to a wide-range of aircraft types. 

Additionally, the growing GA fleet will require personnel to support it. This means more training facilities, which the industry and the Government must offer incentive for. And finally, overall tax incentives are a motivating way to get private companies involved in the growth of GA.

What can the industry do to make this happen?

The most important aspect here is industry involvement. Groups, such as the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA), work diligently on behalf of the industry to promote general and business aviation. The industry plays an important role in planning. From the Government, a coordinated effort is required to develop standardized regulations. This would make flying cross border much more efficient. 

How is Tag Aviation committed to the development of this region? 

Tag Aviation believes in the long-term development of this region and we believe there is a lot of potential for general aviation. With that in mind, we are set to operate a Fixed-Base Operation (FBO) at the Macau International Airport. We have come to terms with a six-year agreement with the Macau Airport Authority to provide a full-service facility operation, 24/7. This is set to open in the fourth quarter of 2018.

China GA Report, 2018Bowen Zhang