China and France will further expand their cooperation in civil aviation through a professional training venture.
A Sino-French aviation college will be set up before next year, introducing France's engineer training system to China's civil aviation system, said Wu Tongshui, president of the Civil Aviation University of China in Tianjin Municipality on Friday.
In addition, a master program on aviation safety management will continue to train senior managerial staff, said Wu at the graduation ceremony of the master program between 2005 and 2006 on Friday.
The expanding relationship between the two countries is being driven by China's demand for high-level professionals in civil aviation, he said.
"High-level professionals familiar with international practices are the key to guaranteeing aviation safety and fulfilling China's goal of becoming a strong civil aviation country," Wu said.
After two years of discussion, both countries agreed to run a college together in Tianjin to foster aviation engineers.
Wu's university and four of France's top aviation colleges signed a framework agreement last year.
With no complications, the Sino-French aviation college will be established as early as the end of this year.
Wu said the college is expected to enroll 120 high school graduates next year. They will be educated in three majors, including airplane structures and materials, airplane engines, and communication, navigation and airborne equipment.
"The three majors will cover almost all parts of an airplane," he said.
Students will receive engineer diplomas after six years education, which involves two years of the foundation program, one year of language learning and three years' engineer training.
"But they have to pass strict examinations at the end of the first three years before they can continue," said Wu.
In this way, the college aims to foster a batch of Chinese aviation engineers that are at the same level as French engineers, in both knowledge and capability.
Apart from that, the Master program on aviation safety management will continue for at least three more classes.
Funded by Airbus, the program started in 2001. So far, at least 90 people in two classes have graduated from the program. They were trained in flight operations, airworthiness management and aviation maintenance.
"China always views aviation safety as a top priority," said Wu.
In addition, Airbus China will help foster high-level aviation technicians, said Wolfgang Engler, vice-president of Product Integrity Division of Airbus. But so far, both sides have not reached an agreement on how to train the technicians.
(China Daily March 25, 2006)