Before last month's ruling on airspace, the Chinese military restricted private flying to 20 percent of the country's airspace (compared with 85 percent of U.S. airspace that is available to civil aviation), and private flights were required to apply for permits weeks in advance. According to the CAAC, there are 399 airports or heliports in the country and just more than 1,600 jets registered, including airliners. With wide expanses of territory and the lack of a national highway system, the potential for general aviation is great. But for years, Chinese military restrictions have capped growth. That could be changing now.