Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

Milestone Deal on Civil Aviation to Enhance China-EU Cooperation

Milestone Deal on Civil Aviation  to Enhance China-EU Cooperation

BRUSSELS - China and the European Union (EU) on Monday signed two agreements on civil aviation cooperation in Brussels.
The milestone deal meets a longtime aspiration of both sides to expand practical cooperation in this sector. European Commission (EC) President Jean-Claude Juncker said the agreements, “a first big step,” “will create jobs, boost growth and bring our continents and peoples closer together.”
The move, which came amid uncertainties worldwide furthered by U.S. unilateralism and trade protectionism, reaffirms the EU commitment to safeguarding openness, free trade and multilateralism while enriching the content of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership.
“In an increasingly unsettled world, Europe’s partnership with China is more important than ever before,” Juncker noted.
The deal is the first of its kind ever reached in the 20 years of cooperation in the civil aviation sector between China and Europe.
The bilateral agreement on civil aviation safety provides a legal framework for expanding cooperation in multiple aspects such as environmental compatibility, and the design and manufacturing of aeronautical products. It will help promote policy coordination and technological and people-to-people exchanges.
As a result of many rounds of consultations since August 2013, it is also expected to facilitate the trade of aircraft and related products. Among the measures is removing unnecessary procedural duplications in the evaluation and certification of aeronautical products to reduce cost.
“We believe the newly-signed accord will help establish more efficient, streamlined and standardized aircraft certification procedures and we look forward to the promulgation and implementation of the detailed regulations,” said George Xu, CEO of Airbus China.
Moreover, the agreement serves as part of the joint efforts by China and the EU towards a higher level of civil aviation safety, especially after the crashes and the recent exposure of safety hazards of the U.S. Boeing 737 airliners.
“Today’s agreements will boost the EU’s trade in aircraft and related products, and ensure the highest levels of air safety,” commented Violeta Bulc, the EU commissioner for transport.
Under the agreement on certain aspects of air services signed Monday, all EU airlines are allowed to fly to China from any EU member state with a bilateral air services agreement with China.
“Cooperation, openness and adherence to the promise made by high-level leadership of both sides are delivered by the agreements,” said Ambassador Zhang Ming, head of the Chinese mission to the EU.
The two agreements were signed in line with the consensus reached at the 21st China-EU leaders’ meeting in April. They are believed to be able to tap into the potential of growth in the aviation sector of both sides.
The European aviation industry supports 5.1 million jobs and contributes 2.4 percent of the European gross domestic product, while China envisions a growing market of civil aviation as well as an emerging industry of aeronautical products, according to the five-year EU-China Aviation Partnership Project, which was initiated in 2015 by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
“The (Monday) agreements conform to the development needs of aeronautical industries in China and the EU ... and provide a legal basis for airlines operation of both sides,” CAAC chief Feng Zhenglin told Xinhua. (Xinhua)