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China Agreement Advances Aviation Safety

An agreement signed between top American and Chinese aviation officials will enhance air safety while reducing regulatory burdens and costs…

An agreement signed between top American and Chinese aviation officials will enhance air safety while reducing regulatory burdens and costs for the airlines and aviation authorities of both countries. The Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) will reduce duplicative oversight of each other`s airlines while opening the door to cooperation between the two countries in aviation safety.

Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta and over 200 international aviation leaders witnessed the signing of the agreement by FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey and CAAC Minister Yang YuanYuan at the FAA`s annual International Aviation Safety Forum.

The agreement will reduce regulatory burdens for the airlines and improve coordination between U.S. and Chinese flight safety programs, leading to streamlined procedures that raise safety standards while making the best use of both countries` safety management resources.

It is imperative that we do everything possible to facilitate growth in both countries` aviation systems so that both economies can prosper at their own pace, without the burden of overlapping bureaucracy getting in the way, Secretary Mineta said.

This agreement will provide a foundation for maintenance, airworthiness, operations and the environment, Blakey said. We`re creating synergy: for aviation, for safety, for business. It`s good for the People`s Republic of China. It`s good for the United States.

According to the CAAC, traffic by Chinese air carriers has grown at an average of 14 percent annually since 1978 and is expected to continue at this rate for decades to come. Economists estimate that over the next several years, the Chinese aviation system is expected to grow to be the second largest aviation system in the world behind the United States. Recognizing this tremendous growth rate, the FAA nine years ago began a cooperative effort with the CAAC in the areas of flight standards, air traffic management and airports, as well as aircraft operations, maintenance and certification. The FAA and CAAC have planned more than 70 cooperative exchange activities in 2005 in all fields of aviation safety.

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