Business / Industries

China's aviation development experience needs to be shared by other countries: head of ICAO

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-06-29 14:49

UNITED NATIONS - Over the past decades, China has had a good record in aviation safety while developing the industry at a high speed, the head of the UN specialized agency for civil aviation has said.

Its experience in this regard needs to be shared by other countries, particularly the developing ones, Liu Fang, secretary general of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), told Xinhua in an interview.

Liu said that China is the second largest country in the world in terms of total volume of passengers and cargo carried by air transportation behind the United States.

Statistics from the Civil Aviation Administration of China showed it was estimated that passengers made a total of 440 million trips in 2015, up 11.4 percent year on year. International routes also registered an explosion, increasing to 660 international routes.

"At present, China is a major power in world civil aviation," Liu said. "Its experience in this regard should be shared by other countries."

Cooperation for security 

"It is our hope that ICAO and China will further their cooperation so that more countries can share China's experience," she said. "This is conducive to the development of global civil aviation."

She said that her agency is a very good platform to share China's relevant experience with the other 190 member states, particularly those developing nations.

Liu said that governments of the member states, including China, attach great importance to the safe and secure air transport systems. "I would like to see all member states, including the Chinese government, to enhance their cooperation and collaboration," she said.

"We also would like to see strengthened cooperation between ICAO and China in the field of technical assistance and technical cooperation," she said.

A challenge in global civil aviation lies in the uneven implementation among all member states of international standards, she said.

"We set a global target for this global implementation, for now, that is 60 percent. However, some States are still unable to reach this target," she said, adding that ICAO would like to raise this rate to 80 percent or even 90 percent in the coming years.

"So, clearly, there is a need for the States which are really in need to get proper support and assistance in terms of expertise, in terms of funding resources, to help them establish national regulatory system, to help them get proper capacity in terms of expertise and to help them establish a technical system to do the job."

To reach the target, the Montreal-based ICAO has put forward the "No country left behind" initiative, she said.

Contribution to China's Belt and Road Initiative

Meanwhile, Liu said that aviation can also play a very active role in boosting efforts to carry out China's Belt and Road Initiative, put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, she said.

The initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt that links China with Europe through Central and Western Asia by inland routes and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road connecting China with Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe by sea.

"We know China has the Belt and Road Initiative. I think one of the important components is infrastructure development for a lot of our member states," she said. "I think this is what they really need. For that part, aviation safety and security is one of the important components."

"I think ICAO can contribute to this initiative through our technical expertise, through our technical advice to that endeavor," she said. "Through the strengthened cooperation, we would like to assist countries in this region, and also in developing countries at large which are in need to effectively implement our standards."

"We hope we can strengthen this cooperation with the Chinese government to enhance these states' effective implementation level of our standards to ensure the safe and secure operation of air transport around the world," she said.

At the same time, Liu noted that nowadays more and more Chinese are travelling abroad by air.

"So it is hoped that the Chinese citizens wherever they fly on whatever airline, they will be safely and securely transported to the destination they are looking for," she said.

"For ICAO, we would like also to take a balanced approach to aviation security and facilitation of passenger and cargo flow through the airports," she said.

"When you go through every airport as a passenger, you will go through the security procedure, that is to ensure the aircraft operation and airport to be operated in a safe and secure manner," she said.

"Meanwhile, we will try to get this process to be efficiently managed and handled, to be user friendly and we will encourage our member states, when implementing these security standards, to think of facilitation -- to facilitate the cargo and passenger flow to ensure our air transport is speedy and efficient. That is one of the most important characters of the air transport," she said.

Liu was at UN Headquarters in New York to brief the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the UN Security Council on the challenges in the global aviation security and how to strengthen cooperation in this regard.

In March 2015, Liu, a Chinese national, was appointed as the secretary general of ICAO for a three-year term, beginning on Aug. 1, 2015.

She becomes the first woman ever to head the UN specialized agency for civil aviation, and only the second ICAO secretary general from the Asia Pacific region.

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