China military central to airspace reform

China’s Xinhua state press agency reports that Air Force officials will retain significant oversight of low altitude airspace.

On the Ministry of Defence website, Air Force spokesman Shen Jinke said China is in the midst of low-altitude management reform, but opening up of airspace below 1,000 metres does not mean “totally free” airspace

The Air Force is committed to the principle of integrating air defense and airspace management to ensure airspace safety, according to Shen.

In recent years, ten military air fields have been relocated, 13 handed over to civil aviation and another 63 shared with civilian air traffic. The Air Force also shut down 457 blocks of airspace for training use and opened up 56,000 kilometers of new flight paths.

“These efforts have helped China’s civil aviation industry achieve 10 per cent annual growth,” said Shen

The spokesman also noted strict implementation of a regulation on general aviation flight mission approvals, adding all approvals will be processed in a quick and efficient manner, under the premise of safety

China’s low-altitude airspace is controlled by the Air Force and the Civil Aviation Administration of China. Private flights are required to file for approval.

A previous joint decision set in November 2010 by the State Council and the military authority said low altitude airspace would be opened up gradually to general aviation.

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One Response to China military central to airspace reform

  1. Thomas Kustusch says:

    Chinese military (or any miltary for that matter) retaining significant control over lower airspace, i.e. civil airtraffic management in a dynamic and challenging environment will only assure continuation of a status quo mildly describable as inappropriate for an aspiring global leader. Airtraffic control requires flexibility,rapid information management, modern technology, transparency and communication, none of which are traditional military virtues.