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CAAC to Tighten Controls on Flight Safety

China's supervisory body for civil aviation has pledged to develop tighter controls to ensure safer flights.


Safety supervision will top the administration's efforts next year as potentially dangerous problems still remain, said Yang Yuanyuan, director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).


Yang made the remarks at a two-day national conference that opened in Beijing on Monday.


While intensifying liability for aviation enterprises, the administration plans to launch intensive checks of flight training, aircraft maintenance and overtime flights, he said.


Since reforms in the civil aviation industry were completed in July, discrepancies have been found in some companies' operations and technical standards as well as flight controls and management.


"The administration and regional aviation authorities will conduct an assessment of airports' maintenance capabilities. Those failing to meet requirements will be forced out of the market," Yang said.


He urged airlines to intensify construction of operation control centers to improve efficiency in plane deployment.


"At the same time, airlines must increase input into training flight and maintenance professionals to improve their ability to ensure safety," Yang said.


In his annual report, Yang highlighted safety concerns that have grown since a China Eastern plane crashed in Inner Mongolia on November 21, killing 55 people.


Yang warned airlines to pay additional attention to internal safety management as they move to introduce more airplanes, routes and flights and expand air bases.


Some airlines were found to have neglected safety and service in pursuit of profit, Yang stressed.


He said the industry's skill set has not kept up with rapid development and fast growth. Putting both on equal footing is the top priority for next year.


According to the CAAC, from January to November passenger transport capacity totaled more than 112 million while cargo transport hit 2.5 million tons. That's up 41.5 and 26.7 percent respectively from the previous year.


To promote safety management, Yang said his administration will formulate a system next year to demand airlines earmark capital for safety training, purchase of facilities for emergency rescue operation and assessment of potential dangers.


(China Daily December 28, 2004)

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