Chongqing's low-altitude economy poised to take off| Updated: 2024-05-09

Ning and her husband were blessed to be the first to experience the in-flight wedding service at Longxing General Airport on April 26, a prelude to a five-day event featuring low-altitude activities. The event, starting from April 30, synced with the Labor Day holiday and marked a new chapter of Chongqing's bolstered low-altitude economy.


Ning's in-flight wedding at Longxing General Airport in Liangjiang New Area. [Photo provided to]

The event staged diverse recreational activities such as parachuting, paragliding, and sightseeing on a hot air balloon, helicopter, or fixed-wing aircraft. Like Ning, who hailed her wedding as "romantic, meaningful and memorable", many visitors were awe-struck by these sky-high experiences. Data shows that the event received nearly 510 thousand visitors, with over 2.25 million yuan ($317,250) spent.

The low-altitude economy relies on airspace up to 3,000 meters above ground. It involves low-altitude flight, air tourism, passenger transportation, general aviation services, scientific research, and education.

By 2030, the size of China's low-altitude economy is estimated to reach 2 trillion yuan, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Chongqing is seeing rapid development of the low-altitude economy this year, with a wide range of application scenarios set to be developed and extensive cooperation reached.

Many experts believe that Chongqing, as an industrial powerhouse in China, holds an advantageous position that will bolster the low-altitude economy, given that the low-altitude economy is inextricably backed up by aviation technology R&D and equipment manufacturing. 

On the strength of its manufacturing prowess and multiple general airports, Chongqing is capable of further developing industry clusters and enhancing its regional influence, according to Mo Yuanming, a researcher at Chongqing Technology and Business University.

To date, Chongqing has 40 key companies that are engaged in the aviation engines and drones sector, with an output value of 8.03 billion yuan last year, up 4.3 percent from 2022.

During the five-day event, Chongqing signed 17 Letters of Intention related to the low-altitude economy sector, with an investment totaling 2 billion yuan. Seven projects were secured by Chongqing Liangjiang New Area. These projects will center on infrastructure, R&D and manufacturing, flight services, and general services. They will establish application scenarios in the tourism, logistics, and transportation sectors.

To date, the new area is home to 22 companies engaging in the low-altitude economy, including infrastructure, R&D and manufacturing, flight services, and general services. These companies achieved an industry scale of 680 million yuan in 2023.

A consumption scenarios list was recently released by the new area. According to the list, the new area will partner with operators to develop 10 scenarios that involve tourism, sports, wedding services, and flight training, among others.

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