EC signs landmark aviation agreement with China

Intended to generate growth for European business, foster innovation and enable passengers to profit from safer, cleaner and cheaper flights, in a follow-up to the April 9 EU-China summit the European Commission signed an agreement on civil aviation safety and also a horizontal aviation agreement aimed at strengthening aviation cooperation on Monday May 20.

The signing of a bilateral civil aviation agreement (BASA) will support worldwide trade in aircraft and related products. It should reduce costs incurred through the previous need for duplication of evaluation and certification activities for aeronautical products by the civil aviation authorities, while also promoting cooperation between the EU and China towards a high level of civil aviation safety and environmental compatibility.

The signing of the horizontal aviation agreement marks China’s recognition of the principle of EU designation, meaning that any EU airline will be able to fly to China from any EU Member State with a bilateral air services agreement with China under which unused traffic rights are available. This differs from before where only airlines owned and controlled by a given Member State or its nationals could fly between that Member State and China.

These two agreements form a part of EU President Jean-Claude Junker’s EU Commission Aviation Strategy for Europe. Commenting on the agreements, Junker said: “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. Today we took a first big step in this direction by signing two aviation agreements with China that will create jobs, boost growth and bring our continents and peoples closer together. Today’s agreements show the potential of our partnership and we should continue on this path of cooperation. For it will always be in unity that we find strength.”

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