[photopress:air_beijing_control.jpg,full,alignright]All planes leaving and landing at the Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) must use English in wireless communication with ground controllers from May 5, 2010.
This seems a sound, nay essential, move. On YouTube there are clips of pilots on China based aircraft landing in the United States and their English is, politely, not of the best.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in a statement on its website that at least 30% of the flights must switch from Chinese to English from May 5 this year and no less than 60% must do that a year later.
The statement quoted CAAC deputy director Li Jian as saying at a conference, ‘Many foreign airlines have complained they couldn’t precisely judge their planes’ position in the air because of failing to understand the talk between Chinese pilots and air traffic controllers in their mother tongue, which led to hidden safety problems.’
He said the problems might worsen as airlines were expected to add flights to Beijing after Terminal 3 was opened in the run-up to the Olympic Games.
Source: Trading Markets