China Aviation and Aerospace: The Sky’s the Limit for Victorian Business


A recently commissioned Victorian Government market research report “Opportunities for the Victorian Aerospace and Aviation Industries in China” has revealed immediate and potentially significant opportunities for Victorian companies as China’s aerospace and aviation services industries commercialise and become internationally competitive.

The report describes immediate opportunities in all aspects of civil aviation manufacture, infrastructure and training for Victorian companies, as well as in development of aerospace technologies and data synthesis technologies.

The report underlines the urgency for Victorian businesses to investigate opportunities in this sector, as contracts to supply goods and services to China’s massive aviation and aerospace programs are currently being filled.

comac_c919“…the Victorian Government and Companies should market their capability in China and enter negotiation with their counterparts in China without delay, particularly if they want to be considered to be part of the rapidly growing international supply chain associated with the new airplane programs.” Historically, the aerospace and aviation industries have been State managed by the Chinese Government within its defence industry program.


In a significant change of approach however, a number of commercial enterprises have recently been developed to foster commercial growth and encourage the sector to develop domestically and compete internationally.


Established in 2008, COMAC is the lead agency driving development of a large commercial airplane manufacturing and supply industry in China. China’s civil aviation market is currently monopolized by the Boeing and Airbus companies.

The report states that in an effort to “fast-track” entry into the lucrative commercial aircraft market, COMAC will engage international aviation experts and adopt internationally established product supply chains to facilitate the development of the sector.

To this end, the report outlines that both COMAC and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) have indicated that they are interested in collaborating with Victorian organisations and companies. The report suggests that Victorian companies join together into a consortium to form a ‘Tier-1′ level consortium relationship with a Chinese organisation. They expressed interest in the fields of:
• composite materials and structures research and development
• surface finishing and quality control
• specialist education and training
• design, development manufacture of engines
• airborne systems, aircraft monitoring and diagnostics
• customer service
• airworthiness training.

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Currently overseeing the 60 billion RMB development of the C919 large commercial aircraft, COMAC is hoping to meet the Chinese Government’s objectives of becoming an internationally recognized aircraft supplier for the domestic and international commercial aviation markets by 2020, joining Airbus and Boeing as market leaders in the construction of large civil aircraft.

According to the report, the commercial aviation sector in China is set to boom, with almost half a trillion dollars worth of aircraft required to be built for domestic purposes by 2050.

“Recent global aviation industry business studies predict that China will require 1,600 new jumbo jets, worth US$150 billion to US$180 billion, by 2020. By 2050, China will need more than 3,000 new planes, which, together with other smaller aircraft and freight planes, will be worth US$350 billion to US$400 billion.”

The report outlines that although many parts for the C919 will be designed and produced by domestic suppliers, key parts such as the avionics, engines and structures requiring advanced materials technologies and process ‘know-how’ will still need to be sourced and acquired through global cooperation or foreign purchase.

Currently the world’s fastest growing aviation market, the report suggests that the Chinese aerospace and aviation programs offer potential opportunities for Victorian companies and organisations to establish a China-Australia business relationship.


In response to this, the Victorian Government is currently undertaking a series of trade missions between Victoria and China to facilitate industry introductions and to present Victorian sector capability to key Chinese aviation and aerospace contacts within AVIC and COMAC.

Highlighting the capabilities of Victorian businesses operating in the aerospace, aviation, sector specific education and training, and manufacture of composite materials spheres, the current trade missions program is providing businesses with an ideal platform from which to secure consortium agreements for the Tier 1 C919 program.

The report outlines short, medium and long term strategies for Victorian companies wanting to enter into the China aviation and aerospace market, with long term opportunities in research and development, training and the implementation of advanced technologies.

The Aviation Industry Corporation of China was restructured in 2008-2009, with three commercial subsidiaries created to oversee the manufacture and supply of the ‘new generation’ of Chinese regional, general aviation, helicopters and special aircraft. AVIC continues to manage many of the State’s defence related aerospace and aviation development programs.

For more information on the “Opportunities for the Victorian Aerospace and Aviation Industries in China” report or on the trade missions program, please visit the Victorian Government Export Connections website at


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