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China considers setting up air-safety taskforce
( 2001-11-18 10:52 ) (7 )

China is considering setting up a high-ranking taskforce to handle plane hijacking, China News Service reported.

It said the Government was thinking of forming an "anti-hijacking leading group" under the Civil Aviation Administration of China (Caac) to ensure rapid reaction if planes were hijacked.

Caac said earlier it was considering setting up a new airline police force to ensure the safety of domestic flights after the September 11 attacks.

Soon after the attacks, China banned sharp objects in luggage. Passengers were also prohibited from checking in luggage belonging to others, the report said.

Caac official Chen Xiaoning called for better legislation to protect airline security. Although people who committed illegal acts on a plane could be charged using other laws, he said there was no specific legislation to punish actions such as taking over a plane, destroying public facilities on a plane, or interfering in the operation of the flight.

Measures should also be taken to address problems that have long plagued the airline industry, such as clashes between disgruntled passengers and airline staff over flight delays.

Mr Chen said cabin crews should be trained to prevent hijackers entering the cockpit and instructed on how to mobilise passengers to stop hijacking acts.

Although safety measures at airports had been stepped up, security remained lax because airlines lacked resources to implement measures and airline staff did not receive enough training.



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