Air China

Official's suicide due to depression, aviation authority says

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 July, 2010, 12:00am

The suicide of a top regional aviation official last week was due to depression, and had nothing to do with a corruption investigation in the air-transport sector, the state civil aviation authority said in its journal on Tuesday.

Liu Yajun , 50, chief of the Central and Southern Regional Administration of the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC), threw himself in front of a train on June 24 in Guangzhou.

Liu's death came amid a run of corruption investigations in the civil aviation sector, which have brought down a number of senior officials.

The CAAC Journal said Liu had been suffering from insomnia and depression. He even sometimes wept alone at home after work in Guangzhou, as job pressure was heavy. According to the website of Beijing-based Caijing magazine, Liu left a note stating two regrets: first, he felt sorry he could not live up to the Communist Party's expectations. Second, he regretted being unable to join the International Civil Aviation Organisation, which he had planned to be the focus of his new career.

According to Caijing, early this year, two teams were sent by the central government to investigate officials of the CAAC North China Regional Administration and Beijing Capital International Airport. So far, no team has been sent to check the CSRA, of which Liu was in charge.

Another case that raised eyebrows was that of Kuang Xin , former head of the Civil Aviation Department under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), who had also been taken in for investigation in December. The case was only opened to the public this week.

With airport planning, construction, and airplane purchases approved by the CAAC, Kuang's position granted him much leeway on major policy decisions. After the CAAC approves them, secondary approval still has to come from the NDRC.