South Korea and China to hold talks on cutting flight delays

SEOUL/SEJONG, Dec. 7 (Yonhap) — South Korea and China will hold their annual air traffic management meeting this week to discuss ways to reduce flight delays between the two countries, the government said Monday.

The three-day meeting, scheduled to kick off on Tuesday in Seoul, will focus on ways to handle the spike in bilateral air traffic, a representative from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said.

Government officials and airline representatives from the two sides will explore the feasibility of opening new air corridors and implementing so-called double-tracking for congested existing airways to accommodate more planes at the same time, it said.

The need to allow more planes to fly between the neighbor countries has become a critical issue, with two-way traffic jumping an average of 10.8 percent annually in the past five years.

Air traffic stood at 74,647 flights in 2010 but soared to 112,592 last year, with numbers expected to continue rising in the future.

In addition, the two sides will discuss ways to better manage air traffic flow and exchange views on next-generation technologies related to civilian aircraft navigation.

The ministry said that Seoul’s goal is not only to expand cooperation with China, but with Japan too, which will help create an efficient and safe environment for air traffic in Northeast Asia.

The bilateral meeting with China has been held every year since 2010, with notable achievements made so far, including better arrangements regarding the transfer of air traffic control authority and determining the minimum separation for planes.

Planes parked at Incheon International Airport west of Seoul. (Yonhap file photo) Planes parked at Incheon International Airport west of Seoul. (Yonhap file photo)

yonngong@yna.co.kr

(END)

Yonhap News

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