Last Friday, the first cross-border helicopter flight was conducted between Shenzhen and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, according to Xinhua. Although state media outlets have reported that the helicopter flight was the first between the two cities, it’s not clear whether this includes military heli-flights as well.
The helicopter took off from Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport and landed at Hong Kong Xinde Heliport, with the commute taking about 15 minutes. The flight was operated by Shenzhen Eastern General Aviation Company (Shenzhen Eastern GAC), using an Airbus H135 light twin-engine helicopter.
Xinhua reported that the Shenzhen-based aviation company is the first certified general aviation company in China to operate helicopter flights between Guangdong province and Hong Kong, with a goal to conduct regular heli-flights in the Greater Bay Area (GBA).
Shenzhen Eastern GAC Chairman Zhao Qi was quoted by Xinhua as saying: “We are committed to playing a leading role in the low-altitude air transportation in the Greater Bay Area.” The company has big ambitions for the southern metropolis located in the heart of the GBA, with the hopes of further improving travel efficiency within the area.
In late May, Shenzhen also announced they were teaming up with European aerospace company Airbus to devise a plan to add helicopters to the city’s transport system. It would make Shenzhen the first city in China to add choppers to its urban public transport.
With an ever-expanding network of high speed trains linking each of the cities in the GBA, heli-flights are viewed as a way to build upon the transportation network and help the area stand out from places like Silicon Valley and Tokyo Bay area.
[Cover image via Xinhua]