The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is calling on China to further strengthen its safety efforts and optimize its airspace capacity to continue lowering its number of flight delays.

By 2034, China will be the world's largest passenger market, with one in five passengers travelling to, from or within China," says Tony Tyler, IATA's director general and CEO, speaking at the Beijing International Forum on Civil Aviation Safety. “Adopting global best practices to improve safety and optimize airspace capacity will support the successful development of Chinese aviation."

According to Tyler, China is already doing a good job in the safety of its aircraft. There have been no jet hull losses in mainland China since August 2010.

“The combined efforts of the Chinese aviation industry, including government, airlines, airports, air traffic control, and many others have built a first class safety record for China," says Tyler.

He notes several areas where China's safety could be enhanced: by introducing global standards to airlines not covered by the IATA Operation Safety Audit registry and also by following guidelines for shipping lithium batteries.

Turning to optimizing China's airspace, Tyler identifies five areas for improvement:

  • Use existing airspace more efficiently by allowing international flights to use domestic air routes.
  • Reduce restrictions on entry and exit points and simplify procedures for re-routing requests.
  • Introduce air traffic flow management.
  • Maximize the full potential of civil-military cooperation through flexible use of airspace by civil aircraft when it is not being used by the military.
  • Introduce more interoperability by bringing performance-based navigation to China.
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