[photopress:air_passengers.jpg,full,alignright]Some aircraft do not take off this fast. China’s civil aviation traffic soared 16% to 185 million passengers last year, triggering government plans for curbs on industry growth to ensure safety.
The China Daily newspaper quoted state aviation chief Li Jiaxiang as saying the booming sector was growing too fast, raising safety risks, and needs to be brought under control.
Volume is projected to surge another 14% in 2008 to 210 million passengers, the paper said, citing figures from the General Administration of Civil Aviation.
Li Jiaxiang said, ‘The structure is outstandingly imbalanced, safety risks continue to rise and economic returns remain low.’
Curbs will include ‘tighter restrictions on new airlines entering the market’ and controls on the numbers of aircraft that airlines can purchase.
It cited official figures saying that, despite the growth, there had been no major aviation accidents in China for 37 months, a record for the industry.
Li Jiaxiang said that under the new measures aimed at maintaining that record, airlines that have difficulty supplying required numbers of cockpit crew would not be allowed to import new aircraft or open new routes.
The government also placed a ban on new airline applications until 2010 and would more closely scrutinize investors, plane ownership and pilot quality.
Li Jiaxiang, named head of the aviation authority last month, is widely known to oppose foreign airlines gaining greater access to China’s skies. He believes domestic airlines also would be encouraged to open more long-distance international routes to raise their overseas market share.
Source: China Post