China-EU Air Deals Lay Runway for Big Chinese Planes to Fly Europe's Skies
Gao Ya
/SOURCE : yicai
China-EU Air Deals Lay Runway for Big Chinese Planes to Fly Europe's Skies

(Yicai Global) May 21 -- After several rounds of talks, China and the European Commission inked two agreements on civil aviation in Brussels yesterday

The two accords form a legal framework for aviation safety, environmental certification, flight operations, air traffic control services, personnel training and other matters. 

The airworthiness terms in the deals will ease the entry of Chinese aircraft into the European market, an industry insider said. The deals will generate USD3.5 billion in funds and 11,000 jobs for both sides in the first eight years after signing, the EU predicts.

"In an increasingly unsettled world, Europe's partnership with China is more important than ever before. The EU firmly believes that nations working together makes the world a stronger, safer and more prosperous place for all," European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said at the signing.

The provisions on airworthiness and environmental certification in the first pact facilitate bilateral cooperation in the airworthiness evaluation, provides methods for the exchange of aeronautical products between the pair, and creates a good environment for cooperation between industrial companies in the design and manufacturing of aeronautical products, according to the press release of the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Airworthiness measures an aircraft's suitability for safe flight. An airworthiness certificate is an airplane's pass to the market. The US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency are the world's most important certification agencies. To enter Europe, a plane must gain certification from either the FAA or EASA.

Chinese large aircrafts' entry into the EU will be easier after the signing of the agreements, Shen Haijun, a professor at the School of Aerospace Engineering and Applied Mechanics of Shanghai's Tongji University, told Yicai Global.

"(For Chinese aircraft to go overseas) is quite difficult. Neither the FAA nor Airbus will grant Chinese-made aircraft airworthiness certification easily, otherwise they are inviting in a rival for themselves … China has done a lot of work this time so that Europe was willing to sign the deals," Shen added.

The safety agreement mainly aims to support global trade in aircraft and related products, per the EU's statement. It will remove the unnecessary duplication of evaluation and certification activities for aeronautical products by the civil aviation authorities, reduce costs for the aviation sector and give airlines the leg up airlines into the other's market.

European airlines will be able to fly to China from each of the 28 member states after the second deal takes effect. European airlines can now fly to China only from EU states which have a bilateral deal with Beijing.

Editors: Tang Shihua, Ben Armour

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Keywords: Civil Aviation Agreement , Airworthiness Certificate , European Union