A new bilateral aviation safety agreement with the U.S. will help China confront a range of growing pains caused by its rapidly growing airline industry. To support China’s development of aviation expertise, the FAA will soon open an office in China.
China’s airline industry has 840 commercial transport category aircraft and is expected to add another 680 by 2010. Top Chinese aviation officials said through September of this year, flights are up 11%, passenger traffic 12% and cargo 8%, compared to 2004. China’s aviation system is forecast to grow to be the second largest in the world after the U.S.
Current training rates for pilots is not adequate, and new channels need to be found to boost numbers, said Yang Yuanyauan, a top Chinese aviation official. China will need 6,000 – 10,000 more pilots by 2010, he said.