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Civil Aviation Industry 'Developing Too Fast'
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The civil aviation authority warned the air transport industry is developing "too fast," and is confronted with "huge pressure to ensure safety."


"The fast pace needs control by scientific measures otherwise, any disaster could severely hamper the industry's healthy development," according to a statement which quoted the head of the CAAC Yang Yuanyuan as saying.


Passenger and cargo throughput has increased by nearly 20 percent year on year, about 6 percentage points above forecast. More aircraft coming on stream has also been "excessive," the CAAC said.


Statistics show that the number of aircraft between 1996 and 2000 was 111 and between 2001 and 2005, 336.


In the first six months of this year, 56 more aircraft have been added. It is estimated that the net increase between 2006 and 2010 will hit a record 725.


The race to open more airlines is also on. Ten new airlines are in the pipeline waiting approval, in addition to six private carriers and four that started operations in June 2005, the CAAC said.


With insufficient qualified personnel, airports and airspace, the growth "is too much for the industry to handle and may produce high risks in flight safety", the CAAC said.


Although China has experienced no major accidents in the past 33 months, the administration is worried it might repeat the mistakes it made between 1990 and 1993.


"A major reason for having nine accidents between 1992 and 1994 was growth had been too rapid for the industry to cope with flight safety," the CAAC said.


To further ensure safety, the administration has cut daily flights in and out of the Beijing Capital International Airport by 48 since August 15, and said it will not accept applications for most new airlines before 2010.


Following a Taiwan-based China Airlines 737-800 aircraft bursting into flames on landing in Japan on August 20, the administration issued two new orders in a week on passenger safety.


(China Daily September 1, 2007)

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