Civilian helicopters to debut in Tibet

Civilian helicopters are to operate on China's plateaus for the first time, signaling a new stage in Tibet's civil aviation history, according to Tibet Autonomous Region.

Tibet Snow Plateau General Aviation Corp will be set up at the end of 2016, with an registered capital of 50 to 100 million yuan, by the joint venture of China Tibet Development and Investment Group and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China. It indicates the launch of civilian helicopterfor the first in Tibet.

"Tibet has 1.2 million square km, and the biggest challenge for rescue work is transportation difficulties. With many areas still have no access of roads, civilian helicopters will greatly lift the efficiency of rescues." The civilian helicopters will first be used in rescues and emergencies, said Tan Jiwen, president of the China Tibet Development and Investment Group.

The accelerated development of general aviation with a focus on helicopters would improve the accessibility of the region and help build branch lines of the transportation network. This would also further improve the overall transportation network in Tibet, as well as provide a positive impact on the all-round development of all industries, Tan added. "In the future, high-end tourism, aviation-photography, and Photogrammetry and remote sensing are all key applications for general aviation, and it would also serve the transportation, transport, economic development, civilian services, and ecology protection in Tibet."

After the general aviation industry grows to a certain size, there's also plans to collaborate with inner-land universities to build an aviation school in Tibet for joint training of local pilots.