China aviation venture to build 8 bln yuan copter base in Tianjin 2009-01-12 13:27:56   Print

    TIANJIN, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- China will build a commercial helicopter production base here, local authorities said Monday.

    The Aviation Industry Corp. of China (AICC), the country's largest helicopter maker, signed an agreement with the municipal government last week to start work on the base in the first half of this year, said Feng Zhijiang, head of the Tian Free Trade Zone.

    The cost will be about 8 billion yuan (1.2 billion U.S. dollars), Feng said.

    The new China Aviation Industry Helicopters Corp. Ltd. will include a headquarters, a research and development base, assembly facilities and customer services, Feng told the ongoing Tianjin people's congress.

    The new company will focus on medium and heavy helicopters, filling a void in the domestic market. Sales are forecast to reach 30 billion to 40 billion yuan within 10 years.

    Two helicopters are expected to be assembled this year, Feng said.

    China needs about 3,000 helicopters in the next 20 years but has only about 100 civilian craft, said Fang Yong, AICC deputy general manager.

    China made developing helicopters and other aircraft a top priority of the 11th Five-year Plan (2006-2010).

Editor: Wang Guanqun
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