Government aims 75% punctuality rate for national carriers

Updated 2017-12-28 10:30:19 chinadaily.com.cn

The government has set a goal to achieve at least 75 percent punctuality for national carriers in 2018.

"The civil aviation industry will focus on improving quality and efficiency to enhance flight punctuality rate," said Feng Zhenglin, head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, in Beijing at the administration's 2018 annual work conference on Wednesday.

The operation volume should be matched with support capability, encouraging airlines to adjust the scale and structure of flight fleets to enhance flexibility of transport capability management. Airports and air traffic control departments will be evaluated to avoid overload. Airlines are required to carry out back-up capacity, Feng said.

"Operation standard will balance safety," he said.

"Under the premise to ensure safety, to create space for airlines, airports and air control departments to optimize process flow and improve efficiency"—to improve flight punctuality rate, Feng added.

For travelers, flight punctuality rate is one of the priorities. No one likes spending hours at an airport no matter how fancy the airport is.

However, sometimes flight punctuality is hampered due to weather conditions. In July, the national flight punctuality rate dropped to about 50 percent due to a large number of extreme weather conditions and air traffic control situations.

The administration started to take actions since August, such as controlling the number of operation flight considering the capacity of airport and air traffic control to avoid unlimited increase flight schedule, and carry out scientific operation standard to optimize operation process.

The efforts have repaid. In October, 84 percent of flights were on time and the number continued to increase to 85 percent in November, marking a new record in 102 months.

As of now, this year's flight punctuality rate is 71 percent.

Due to the rapid development of China's civil aviation industry, airspace resources for civil aviation have fallen short.

With the limited airspace and unpredicted weather, civil aviation administration has made efforts and prioritized to improve punctuality rate in recent years.

The administration has set the goal to handle 612 million trips in 2018. In this year, airports across China handled 549 million trips.

The country's airports handled an average 12,790 flights a day in 2016, up from 8,973 in 2012.

China's civil aviation has been ranked second in size for 12 years, behind the United States.

Beijing Capital International Airport handled 94 million passenger trips in 2016, and has been ranked as the second-busiest in the world for seven years.

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