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Air Silk Road On National Agenda

Source: Science and Technology Daily | 2022-05-18 15:25:53 | Author: ZHONG Jianli

A cargo plane of Azerbaijan's Silk Way West Airlines is loaded at an airport in central China's Zhengzhou city. (PHOTO: VCG)

By ZHONG Jianli

A five-year plan to promote the building of a safe, convenient, green and inclusive "Air Silk Road" was recently issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Building Air Silk Road is an indispensable part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Titled the Implementation Plan for High-quality Development of Air Silk Road During the 14th Five-Year Plan Period, China has laid out principles, objectives and key tasks for advancing the development of Air Silk Road.

According to the plan, the distribution of aviation hubs should be optimized to enhance the connectivity of airline networks. The rules and standards should be aligned so as to take part in multilateral international civil aviation governance, and mechanisms should be improved to promote people-to-people exchanges.

It is also necessary to reinforce risk prevention and control capabilities, improve safety management, and bring aviation safety to a new level, according to the plan.

There are eight specific tasks put forward by the plan, including making domestic aviation hubs more international, deepening air routes connectivity, strengthening civil aviation infrastructure cooperation, enhancing joint sci-tech innovation, and promoting international trade cooperation.

As early as 2016, CAAC issued an action plan for the civil aviation industry to participate in the development of BRI, which was the first industry guidance for BRI cooperation.

In late 2021, CAAC, NDRC, and the Ministry of Transport jointly released the 14th Five-Year Plan for Civil Aviation Industry Development, which proposed two important projects, that is, promoting the building of Air Silk Road and the expanding of international air cargo capacity.

By September 2021, relying on the construction of airline hubs, different regions in China had set up nearly 100 airport economic zones. Of the 147 comprehensive bonded zones, 26 are built nearby airports, and 13 of the 21 free trade zones cover airport areas. Thus, airline hubs have become increasingly important for regional economies to integrate into the global economic system.

It is expected that by 2025, China's air traffic will connect with more than 70 countries and regions, including more than 50 BRI countries, further facilitating communication and exchanges among BRI countries.

Editor: 钟建丽

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