Au­thor­ity touts pri­or­i­tiz­ing safety to pre­vent ac­ci­dents, ter­ror­ist at­tacks

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By LUO WANGSHU lu­owang­shu@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The civil avi­a­tion au­thor­ity is con­sid­er­ing long-term mea­sures to guar­an­tee avi­a­tion safety, a se­nior avi­a­tion of­fi­cial said on Thurs­day.

“The ma­jor tar­get of avi­a­tion safety in 2017 is to pre­vent ma­jor avi­a­tion ac­ci­dents, pre­vent hi­jack­ing, bomb­ing and other ter­ror­ist at­tacks, pre­vent air force safety ac­ci­dents and avoid avi­a­tion ground and main­te­nance ac­ci­dents,” said Feng Zhenglin, head of the Civil Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion of China, adding that all prac­ti­tion­ers must be alert to po­ten­tial safety risks and elim­i­nate them.

“A safety cam­paign to elim­i­nate po­ten­tial haz­ards will be launched. Eval­u­a­tions will cover all per­spec­tives, and safety is­sues will be a pri­or­ity in eval­u­at­ing air­lin­ers,” he said.

Feng made the re­marks on the side­lines of the an­nual civil avi­a­tion in­dus­try con­fer­ence in Bei­jing.

China’s avi­a­tion in­dus­try has boomed in re­cent years. It 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.

The CAAC es­ti­mated that pas­sen­gers made 480 mil­lion trips in 2016, up 11 per­cent year-on-year.

“When a pi­lot’s flight time in­creases, the risk of po­ten­tial ac­ci­dents rises; when the work­ing time of a man­ager at a flight con­trol depart­ment in­creases, the risk of mak­ing mis­takes rises,” said Li Jian, deputy di­rec­tor of the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

In Oc­to­ber, two com­mer­cial planes nearly col­lided at Shang­hai’s Hongqiao In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion found that the ac­ci­dent was caused by an air traf­fic con­trol of­fi­cer. Based on the find­ings, the CAAC fired or rep­ri­manded 13 staff mem­bers at its East China Re­gional Ad­min­is­tra­tion. It sus­pended the on-duty air traf­fic con­trol of­fi­cer and su­per­vi­sor.

It was the most se­vere pun­ish­ment in re­cent years re­gard­ing flight safety, Feng said.

China’s civil avi­a­tion in­dus­try has tal­lied nearly 46 mil­lion flight hours since Au­gust 2010 with no ma­jor ac­ci­dents or deaths.

This year, there were 3.95 mil­lion flights ac­cu­mu­lat­ing 9.46 mil­lion hours.

In re­cent decades, the coun­try has had a re­spectable record in avi­a­tion safety, while de­vel­op­ing the in­dus­try at a rapid rate, Liu Fang, sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the In­ter­na­tional Civil Avi­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion, told Xinhua News Agency in July.

Its ex­pe­ri­ence in this re­gard needs to be shared with other coun­tries, par­tic­u­larly de­vel­op­ing ones, he said.

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