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This post was edited by nealrussel at 2013-8-2 16:52|
Flight delays are a common irritant the world over. In China, the problem has been getting worse in recent years. According to the latest statistics released by the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China, the punctuality rate last year was below seventy-five percent; the lowest rate in five years.
With a view to improve the situation, the government has come up with a new plan that is being trialled at eight airports.
Taxiing to the runway hoping to take-off in time.
Airlines operating out of China’s major airports have long battled the clock to keep to their schedules. Quite often, it's been a losing battle.
But a new government policy promises to make things better.
One passanger said, "In the past the plane had to wait in a long queue to take off. One time I waited for 7 hours. It’s pretty good we have a new policy."
Cui Jianqiang, Deputy Director of the Management Center of the General Administraion of Civil Aviation has said that a new policy in effect from July the 18th will tackle the problem of flight delays.
As per the policy, flights will no longer be kept waiting on the ground hoping for landing slots to clear up in the destination airport. They will instead take off for their destinations as per their flight schedules and circle around the destination airport if need be, waiting for a landing slot to open up.
Earlier, flights wouldn’t be allowed to take-off if landing slots weren’t available at the destination airport.
Flyers have mixed opinions on the new plan.
One said, "Since there is no disturbance to the scheduled take-off time, the landing time may be affected. This is still a sort of delay."
Another said, "It’s still a problem if all the planes are hovering in the sky. What if the fuel is running out? Is that not a problem for passengers?"
Worries of over fuel running out are valid concerns.
However, some passngers think this will help open up a landing slot for them much earlier.
The exact details of the policy are still classified. Authorities say they are still tracking its performance across the airports. However, it will remain second in priority to the vagaries of the weather and military activities.