EU-China launch Aviation Partnership Project
In March of 2014, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU adopted the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, or more simply, the PI as it is known. Funded by the EU and designed to promote the EU's "strategic interests worldwide by reinforcing its external strategies, policies and actions," the PI's budget for 2014-2020 is a staggering 954M euros (US $1431M). With this money it can fund strategic activities in any non-EU country, and one of its first is the Aviation Partnership Project (APP) in China.
The APP earmarks some 10M euros (US $15M) of that budget for an aviation cooperation agreement between European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). In general, "cooperation agreements" are notoriously vague at the outset. According to the APP, the partnership aims to further aviation safety and security, general aviation, Air Traffic Management/Air Navigation Services, airports, airworthiness, environmental protection, economic policy and regulation and law enforcement between EASA and CAAC. What form such cooperation takes is anyone's guess, however, one such initiative for the coming year is a workshop on Helicopter EMS that will illustrate concrete benefits GA can offer to the wider public in China. One can only imagine that Helo EMS operators in China, such as Kingwing Av, which has ordered 25—and have a framework agreement for up to 60—AgustaWestland AW119Kxs, may benefit from this year's APP spotlight.