BEIJING (XFNews) - China's aviation authority is facing serious challenges as the country's air transport industry continues to develop at a rapid pace, Qin Zhanggao, the deputy director general of the Civil Aviation Administration of China's (CAAC) department for airports, said.
Speaking at the Canada-China Aviation Symposium in Beijing, Qin said that the CAAC is facing a series of problems, including how to further expand the airports and their handling capacity, improve airport facilities, as well as upgrade the quality of their management and services.
"Although the CAAC adopts many measures to improve the infrastructure through intensive investment and speeding up the pace of construction, it still does not meet the actual demand of the fast growing civil aviation industry," Qin said.
In 2004, mainland China's air passenger throughput totaled 240 mln, up 38.8 pct from the previous year, while cargo throughput grew 22.3 pct to 5.526 mln tons, Qin said.
The CAAC estimates that by 2010 there will be an annual passenger volume of 500 mln people through China's airports -- of which there are forecast to be 190, up from the current 133 -- and a cargo throughput of over 10 mln tons.
By 2020, annual passenger volume through China's 230 airports will reach 1.4 bln, while cargo throughput will reach 30 mln tons, Qin said.
"The infrastructure, the management and the quality of human resources cannot meet the demand of fast development of air transport," he said.
However, Qin added that there are favorable conditions for the development of mainland China's airports, including the establishment of a new CAAC managerial system allowing for more space for the development of civil airports.
The CAAC will continue to upgrade existing facilities in large and medium-scale airports, increase the number of regional airports, and create a balanced system that gives airports clear functions in order to deal with the demands of China's rapid growth, Qin said.
Beijing Capital International Airport, Shanghai International Airport, and Guangzhou New Baiyun International airport will be promoted as key international and domestic hubs as well as passenger and cargo distribution centers, Qin added.