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Aviation sector to open wider
By Cao Desheng (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-04-06 21:53

China plans to open its aviation market wider to the outside world and is looking to more partnership opportunities with foreign counterparts, a senior official with General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) said Tuesday.

Li Jun, CAAC's deputy-director, made remarks while delivering a speech at China-US Aviation Symposium, which opened in Beijing Tuesday.

A Memorandum of Understanding on the China/US Aviation Co-operation Programme (ACP) was signed by CAAC and the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).

Under the new plan, the USTDA will improve co-ordination of US private sectors assistance to ACP projects, including financial support, technology assistance and personnel training.

A formal grant agreement for the ACP may be signed later this month.

The partnership came six weeks after US Federal Aviation Administration's administrator Marion Blakey met with CAAC director Yang Yuanyuan in late February. The two discussed co-operation in air safety areas, including flight standards, air traffic management, aircraft certification, airport safety management, personnel training and safety data.

The symposium, initiated by CAAC and USTDA, is designed to provide a forum for discussion on airport downloading, aviation safety, air traffic control, general aviation and corporate aviation markets in China. More than 200 participants from China and the United States attended the meeting.

"The symposium is a testament to the importance of civil aviation infrastructure in today's world," said USTDA Director Thelma J. Askey at Tuesday's opening plenary session.

"Projections show that China's civil aviation sector will grow by more than 8 per cent per year over the next decade, and I believe there is an important role for USTDA and US firms to play in helping China meet the demand," she said.

"Working with our partners in China, we can find and implement the best solutions," Askey added.

Behind the robust development of the air service industry, challenges come in par with opportunities, said Yang Yuanyuan, CAAC's director.

"The pressure on safety insurance has been going up since the performance in management expertise, personal training and infrastructure is still not good enough to match the new round of accelerated development," the director said.

"Meantime, we have a long way to go to formulate and perfect our market regulations and policies and our airlines are not strong enough in terms of competitiveness, adaptiveness to market changes and creativity," he continued.

There are also discrepancies between the infrastructure capability and demands for air services especially in the areas of airport and air traffic management, Yang added.

"In light of these challenges, we are pushing forward to meet these tests by learning from the world's leading counterparts to achieve a swift, sustained and sound development of the aviation industry under the guidance of CAAC," Yang said.

In January and February, the nation's civil aviation sectors saw a rise of about 20 per cent in all performance targets compared with the same period of last year.

CAAC has initiated a work plan for the years 2006 through 2010 and forecast an average annual growth rate of 10 per cent for the five years with considerable expansion in both passenger and cargo business.

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