What's the buzz
Updated: 2013-08-12 07:12
The Civil Aviation Administration of China has introduced a policy of no takeoff limits at major airports in an effort to deal with the serious problem of flight delays. It has said that, except in the case of bad weather or military exercises, flights from the country's eight major airports should not be delayed. Netizens, however, say the measure could cause "mid-air traffic jams" and compromise flight safety. Following are the views of China Daily's mobile news readers:
The new measure means more problems than benefits for passengers. Mid-air traffic jams will increase the fuel costs of airlines, prompting them to raise ticket prices. Besides, even after taking off on time, flights may have to "wait" in mid-air, which can be dangerous. The move may improve the on-time takeoff performance of airports, but it will not solve the overall problem of flight delays.
Oliva, Ji'an, Jiangxi province
The CAAC's move is not sensible because it does not take into consideration passengers' safety, which should be airlines' top priority. The CAAC should, instead, strengthen air-traffic control by taking measures to make the most of airlines' arrangements, and bolster cooperation between flight crews and ground staff. It should also educate airport staff to inform passengers about flight delays in advance and respond to their queries sympathetically.
The new measure ignores passengers' safety and could result in unnecessary waste of fuel. To prevent flight delays, the authorities should improve coordination between airports and airlines, and derive maximum benefit from airlines' arrangements. For example, two airlines should, as far as possible, avoid operating flights on the same route in quick succession, because quite a few times a plane takes off with many vacant seats even after a long delay. If need be, two or more airlines should operate joint flights on such routes.
The CAAC move will not solve the problem of flight delays. It can reduce the number of delays, but it cannot address the problem of limited air routes. Besides, airlines will be under greater pressure to land flights on time, because taking off on schedule does not necessarily mean a smooth run on a route because of heavy air traffic.
A reader, Fuzhou, Fujian province
The new measure will not help address the basic problem of delays. If passengers have to choose between waiting at an airport and waiting in mid-air, there is little doubt they will opt for the former. Plus, waiting in mid-air means consuming extra fuel, whose cost has to be ultimately borne by passengers. More importantly, the "no takeoff limit" at the eight major airports will lead to more delays at other airports in China.
A reader, Changsha, Hunan province
Despite its good intentions, the measure has its limitations. The measure can only ensure that flights take off on schedule; it cannot ensure that they will reach their destinations in time too. In fact, takeoff delays are unavoidable because of inclement weather. Instead of forcing flights to take off on time, why don't the authorities improve the quality of the services offered at airports and on flights? For example, they could provide more free reading rooms and serve better quality food to boost their image.
The measure cannot solve the problem of flight delays. It can only lead to a greater waste of resources and more safety hazards. To deal with the problem of flight delays, all the airlines should assess their respective traffic capacities and operate joint or combined flights to reduce the number of flights on some congested routes. By sharing the available resources, the airlines will not only improve their performance, but also achieve mutual benefits.
Cheng Liying, Shenzhen, Guangdong province
The measure is a good way of addressing the problem of flight delays. China's airports have not been able to realize their full potential in handling flights, but the CAAC move will help them do so. And people need not worry about safety issues because the airports must have taken them into account before implementing the measure.
Jason, Foshan, Guangdong province
(China Daily 08/12/2013 page9)