China's civil aviation sector at risk of growing too rapidly - regulator


Beijing (XFN-ASIA) - The country's civil aviation industry

is at risk of growing too rapidly, said the General Administration of Civil

Aviation (CAAC) which has recently tightened its control over the sector.

The administration said in a statement that the nation's combined air traffic turnover rose to a fresh high of 19.6 pct in the first five months of this year, compared to a 17 pct rise in all of 2006 and an average increase of 16.4 pct a year during 2001-2005.

New airplane delivery accelerated, with 56 new aircraft delivered in the first half and a total of 150 planes expected for the full year. A total 336 new jets were delivered during 2001-2005, said the CAAC.

The administration said that enthusiasm for forming new airlines is also surging since it approved the first private carrier in June 2005. So far 10 new carriers have been established with another 10 waiting for approval.

However, "the civil aviation industry's capacity of infrastructure, available space resources, supporting technical staff and overall management can not fully match the sector's current growth rate," noted the CAAC.

It warns of possible operating risks in the future due to too rapid expansion, citing another high-development period of the industry between 1990-1993 -- a phase in which the sector recorded the highest number of accidents in the country's history.

"If no appropriate control is imposed on the speed of development, there will be increasing safety pressures for the industry, with its ability to fend off risks getting weaker," the CAAC added.

The administration said earlier this month that as part of its tightening efforts, it has required Beijing airport to reduce its total flights by 336 to 1,050 per day by the end of October and down to 1,000 by the end of March next year.

It will not take any fresh applications to set up new airlines, while stricter requirements will be applied for approving new airlines now waiting for licenses. Newly-set up airlines will also be restricted from expanding their capacity.

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