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Sino-US Ties on Aviation Safety Tightened

A senior US aviation official says the United States and China will work closer on improving airline safety. The strengthened cooperation between the two countries could help improve international aviation safety.

Dr. Joseph Tymczyszyn, the senior representative of the US Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA in China, says the two countries have established a dialogue mechanism between top officials from each other's aviation watchdogs, the US FAA and The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China, or CAAC.

"This year of 2004, there have been over 40 visits by FAA people to China or Chinese group to America, all working to improve international aviation safety in both countries."

He says the US side has witnessed the progress China has made in flight standards and accident control in recent years.

As an example, Dr. Tymczyszyn mentioned a plane accident in Baotou, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region last month.

He says just three hours after the accident, he and his team were invited by CAAC to participate in the investigation. The US side has greatly impressed by the professional manner in which China dealt with the accident.

"Following the international standards, China leads the accident investigation, and US and Canada are observers to assist Chinese leaders. The American investigators told me they were very satisfied with the professional way the Chinese investigators were conducting the investigation."

He believes this represents great progress in China because in the 1990s China would not invite foreign countries to participate in accident investigation. China now completely abides by international standards.

The FAA and CAAC had signed cooperative agreement in various fields this February. Now they are working together in the fields of flight standards, safety data sharing, airport management and personnel training to improve the aviation safety of both countries.

Dr. Tymczyszyn says the bilateral cooperation of China and US can have a good and combined effect on the international aviation safety.

"The United States is right now the No. 1 country in world aviation, but soon China will be the No. 2. If the No.1 and No. 2 aviation countries can work together on aviation safety, many other countries throughout the world must pay attention and do the same way like us."

He says the two sides will jointly carry out a project aiming to support China's air traffic control to strengthen its safety, efficiency and compatibility.

(CRI.com December 10, 2004)

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