A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China was signed on Friday in a bid to strengthen aviation safety through proactive investigation cooperation.
The document was signed at the close of the 23rd ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting in Singapore, between the authorities in charge of aircraft accident investigation of ASEAN member states and the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
The transport ministers of ASEAN and China's Vice Minister of Transport Dai Dongchang witnessed the signing.
The MoU will enable ASEAN countries and China to share investigation facilities and equipment and investigation expertise to support aircraft accident investigation, offer investigation training slots to each other, share safety information, and facilitate the attachment of observers from other parties when conducting investigations.
The sharing of investigation resources, experience and training opportunities is expected to further enhance the investigators' capabilities and professionalism.
The two-day ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting and associated dialogue partner meetings were closed on Friday afternoon.
At the event, ASEAN transport ministers adopted the ASEAN Air Traffic Management Master Plan to support the establishment of the Seamless ASEAN Sky, which is expected to facilitate the flow of aircraft across ASEAN in a more integrated and harmonized manner.
They also signed two agreements to liberalize air services in the region.
Meanwhile, the ministers signed the Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Flight Crew Licensing to facilitate the development and growth of the aviation sector; and the ASEAN Framework Agreement on the Facilitation of Cross Border Transport of Passengers by Road Vehicles (CBTP), which will make it easier for buses and coaches from one ASEAN country to enter another ASEAN country.
Khaw Boon Wan, Singapore's coordinating minister for infrastructure and minister for transport, said at the closing ceremony that the commitment of ASEAN countries to their transport cooperation will help them achieve ASEAN's Vision 2020 and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025.
"It will make a real difference to raising the quality of life for our people, creating good paying jobs and contributing to peace and stability in the region," he said.
The 24th ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting will convene in Thailand in 2018.