NASA will work with China to solve air traffic problems

Passengers stand in front of information screens that show cancellations and delays of departure flights at Beijing International Airport. Pic: AP

CHINA’s airspace is known for its overwhelming air traffic, leading to flight delays that have resulted in many disgruntled passengers.

To aid the problem, NASA has signed a deal with the Chinese Aeronautical Establishment (CAE) to cooperate on research that will help China’s airports improve their management of air traffic.

The aeronautics research will advance air traffic automation for American and Chinese aviation operations in China.

“China is expected to see a substantial increase in air travel in the near future,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. “Our ability to work closely together will help to improve predictability of ground delays so air carriers can better plan departures to increase efficiency.

That will have a positive impact on U.S. carriers operating in China and the global aviation community.”

According to NASA, the five-year collaborative project will acquire and analyze data from Chinese airports to identify potential efficiencies in air traffic management.

In June, a study released by the Civil Aviation Administration of China revealed that the average delay for Chinese flights is 21 minutes, with poor weather, air traffic control issues, and other “unexplained reasons” cited as causes for delays, with only 68 percent of Chinese domestic flights leaving on time last year.

SEE ALSO: Chinese passengers spending more time in airports due to flight delays

Aviation industry observer Zeng Tao told The Nanfang that the solution would be to open more airspace to civil aviation. “Other efforts made by air traffic management bureaus, airlines and airports have proved to have limited effects,” he said.

China is the fastest growing aviation market in the world, and to meet demand, China will invest in 6,810 new aircrafts worth more than US$1 trillion.

SEE ALSO: China will buy 6,810 planes in next two decades to meet demand

This would make China the first trillion-dollar aviation market in Boeing’s global forecasts.