Xinjiang to offer sightseeing flights

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Tourists will soon be able to take sightseeing flights over the country's largest provincial region, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

The administration said the pilot program will allow the region's general aviation companies to run aerial tours within a radius of 40 to 300 kilometers from the takeoff point.

The review process for charter flight applications will be simplified to make the process more efficient, it added.

Under current regulations, air programs usually run within a 40 km radius and it takes about a month to complete the review of an application.

"The program will boost the region's low-altitude airspace tourism," said Fan Hongdong, head of general aviation at the CAAC's Xinjiang bureau.

"It will take less time to process charter flight applications," Fan said. "Xinjiang is a large area with many tourist spots scattered in various places. The program aims to lower the threshold for aviation companies to run sightseeing projects, and to expand the area available for such projects."

The bureau said it is working on a draft regulation, which is expected to be released at the end of May.

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