China’s air industry needs talent and integrity

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) recently released its annual report detailing developments, deficiencies and strategies going forward as the country overhauls its massive aviation sector.

It is pleasing to note, and possibly accelerated by the openness to foreign journalists at the Olympic Games, that the Annual Report (2007/2008) from the civil aviation authority harshly reveals the ‘clean and honest’ reparable measures needed within China’s aviationindustry.

The nearly 400-page bi-lingual report pulls no punches in the many references to anti-corruption in staff matters, and goes as far as stating that it will push forward the ‘rectifi cation of commercial bribery.’

The openness in the report also extends to their admission that, “unfavourable factors in air transport safety are to be strengthened. The shortage of talent is still serious and in particular, is professional personnel inflight operations and maintenance”.

Investing in people and equipment
Under the heading of license management it lists that in November 2007, there were a total of 14,533 pilots in China (excluding expatriates) and some 7,000 persons completed 66 conversions of various licenses. EVA Airways from Taiwan, together with China Airlines and Shanghai International Cargo has invested in flight simulators, has trained 183 pilots and maintenance personnel, while China Postal Airlines trained 21 new captains.

The country’s flight university, in 2007, saw the graduation of only 740 students as pilots, and 1,200 in ground handling.