[photopress:air_beijing_airport_1.jpg,full,alignright]The civil aviation authority has warned that the air transport industry is developing ‘too fast,’ and is confronted with ‘huge pressure to ensure safety.’
Yang Yuanyuan, head of the CAAC, is reported as saying, ‘The fast pace needs control by scientific measures otherwise, any disaster could severely hamper the industry’s healthy development.’
Passenger and cargo throughput has increased by nearly 20% year on year which is much more than forecast. The CAAC said more aircraft coming on stream has also been ‘excessive.’
The number of aircraft between 1996 and 2000 was 111 and between 2001 and 2005, 336.
In the first six months of this year, 56 more aircraft have been added.
It is estimated that the net increase between 2006 and 2010 will be 725.
The CAAC said ten new airlines are in the pipeline waiting approval, in addition to six private carriers and four that started operations in June 2005. However, there are indications that approval will be quite slow in coming.
The CAAC said, with considerable truth, that with insufficient qualified personnel, airports and airspace, the growth ‘is too much for the industry to handle and may produce high risks in flight safety.’
Although China has experienced no major accidents in the past 33 months the administration does not want them to happen. And they did between 1992 and 1994.
The CAAC said, ‘A major reason for having nine accidents between 1992 and 1994 was growth had been too rapid for the industry to cope with flight safety.’
To further ensure safety, the administration has cut daily flights in and out of the Beijing Capital International Airport by 48 since August 15, and said it will not accept applications for most new airlines before 2010.
And the situation has not been helped by a Taiwan-based China Airlines 737-800 aircraft bursting into flames on landing in Japan on August 20.