The Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for Defence (COSTIND) said the aerospace industry will focus on large commercial airline projects from 2010 to 2015.

 

"The priority for the airline industry [during the period] will be on trunk liners, with research and production to begin at the appropriate time," a press release on the COSTIND website said after its chiefs met this week.

 

COSTIND has a strong influence over civilian industries that contribute to the nation's defence. No other details were provided on the type of airliner being considered or specific timing.

 

China has long considered building a 150- to 200-seat commercial aircraft, rather than continuing to rely on Boeing of the United States and Europe's Airbus.

 

Rush

 

Industry officials urged the central government last year to approve the building of such aircraft before the country's demand for them peaked over the next two decades.

 

Liu Daxiang, a senior official with the state-owned China Aviation Industry Corporation, said at the time: "If China does not roll out its own trunk-liner by 2020, then the country will not succeed in 2030 or 2040 so it is really a rush."

 

China is the third-biggest aviation market in the world after the United States and Europe.