China US Aviation Cooperation Expands
An agreement signed April 7 by the Federal Aviation Administration to share environmental best practices at airports in China and the United States it the latest sign of aviation cooperation between the two countries. FAA said the Memorandum of Understanding that outlines the environmental agreement was reached at the U.S.-China Aviation Symposium in Beijing and signed by FAA's acting assistant administrator for international aviation, Dorothy Reimold, and a representative of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). The symposium also concentrated on air traffic and safety.
U.S.-China cooperation in aviation "continues to mature. It's just continuing to grow," said Gene Kingsbury, who manages FAA's Asia-Pacific Division.
"Today, expectations have changed, and we are constantly challenging ourselves to find new ways to improve the safety of our aviation system," Reimold said. "That's why these meetings are so important. Aviation is a global endeavor. If we are going to someday achieve a truly seamless global aviation system and the highest level of safety possible, we are going to need to work together. I believe that the United States and China, which represent the two largest aviation systems in the world, have an obligation to the global community to lead the way in aviation cooperation."
In her speech, Reimold highlighted cooperation in air traffic management. "Our ATM cooperation has increased significantly since 2004, when we created the Joint Air Traffic Steering Group, or JATSG. We have already learned a great deal from each other through this working group, which included cooperation on several initiatives that contributed to the success of last year's Summer Olympics," she said, according to the transcript posted by FAA. "We are currently preparing for our sixth meeting of the JATSG in the United States later this month. From this solid foundation, it was only natural for us to take the next step and partner on NextGen. It's important to ensure that our work under the JATSG is getting the right building blocks in place to support our air transportation systems of the future. Whether we're talking about NextGen or CNATS [Chinese NextGen Air Traffic System], we all recognize that aviation systems of the future must be compatible and interoperable; they must be able to talk to each other. This is why our upcoming meeting of our NextGen Air Traffic Management Steering Group will be held in conjunction with our JATSG meeting in April."
Bilateral cooperation to improve operational safety spans almost 15 years, she said, with the 12th meeting of CAAC and FAA held last year and the next to be held in Denver in September 2009.