Written by Rob Paix

In recognition of its influence and leading role in the development of China’s aviation industry, Xi’an is the designated host of the China International General Aviation Convention (CIGAC), held every two years. CIGAC is China’s largest professional and international general aviation exhibition and has gained a reputation around the world as an outstanding event. The 4th China International General Aviation Convention is later this month, with a goal to “promote the development of general aviation and accelerate aviation industrial agglomeration.” These are fine words, but what actually goes on at CIGAC?
What happens at a GA Convention
CIGAC, like most similar events, is all about showing off what you’ve got, finding what you need, making business contacts and deals, and listening to legislators tell you what they’re doing to support your industry. It’s also about engaging the general public with exciting things like air shows!
At CIGAC 2015, all this will be going on in and around two major trade shows and a series of forums. Trade Shows will be held at the Greenland Pico Exhibition Center in the Xi’an metropolitan area and at Pucheng Airport outside of Xi’an. While both shows will feature aircraft manufacturing, aviation parts and equipment, flight training and so on, the big difference will be that Pucheng Airport has the airplanes. Not to mention big companies like Cessna with their “chalets” –glorified booths in which they wine and dine their business prospects. At the same time, a general aviation summit and various forums will focus on legislation and developmental frameworks for such things as the opening of low-level airspace and general aviation airport construction. More than 500 exhibitors and over 100 aircraft are expected to be involved in CIGAC 2015.
If past events are any guide, the economic and infrastructure outcomes should be substantial. At CIGAC 2013, contracts worth 22.9 billion RMB were signed, 106 aircraft were sold, and forty-six major general aviation projects were signed off.
Air Show
The Air Show is really where the Pucheng Airport trade show extends into the popular entertainment side of the event. While a prospective buyer wants to see what how an ordinary airplane performs, the average punter may be more interested in the thrills and spills of the aerobatics, the stunt pilots and the accompanying pyrotechnics. Lithuanian ace Jurgis Kairys will be back again this year with his antics. He will be joined by American Skip Stewart in his Prometheus super biplane. The schedule also includes powered paraglider racing and joy flights. Organizers are also promising, among other things, drone shows, somatic gaming and a 7D cinema. And, just in case you’re one of those strange people who prefer ground-based vehicles, there will be luxury car and RV/camping equipment zones. More than 100,000 visitors are expected over the course of the show.
Tickets and Getting There
Dates: October 16, 17, 18
Regular adult tickets cost 200 yuan, 100 for concession card holders and 400 for professional visitors. Children under 1.2 m tall get in free.
Transportation to and from Pucheng Airport: 100 yuan per person
(See advertisement on this page for contact numbers)
Your chance to win free tickets!
Simply write and tell us why you want to go to the Xi’an Air Show. The top three most interesting and compelling submissions, as judged by myself and the editor of Xianease, will each win one regular ticket for the day of your choosing. Please email submissions by 5 pm on October 11.
Rob Paix is founder and manager of XL Consulting China, a Xi’an-based translation and consulting company specializing in aviation, business management and the environment.