• Thu
  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 11:40pm

Nearly half of China flight delays blamed on management

Nearly half of hold-ups attributed to problems with management due to increasing air traffic

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 July, 2013, 2:24pm

Management problems were blamed yesterday for 42 per cent of delays to commercial flights on the mainland as public discontent about unreliability mounts.

Air traffic control measures accounted for 26 per cent of delays, bad weather about 21 per cent and military restrictions 7 per cent, China News Service said, quoting official figures.

The report also said that civil aviation utilises 34 per cent of mainland skies, while the military uses 25 per cent. No flights are reportedly allowed in the remaining 41 per cent of airspace.

It was recently revealed that some mainland airports, particularly in Beijing and Shanghai, had the world's worst record for delays. Authorities attributed it to a rapid growth in the number of flights in recent years.

They said this had put additional strain on management and security at airports.

In the past five years, the number of flights arriving and departing from Beijing Capital International Airport increased by nearly 29 per cent, and those out of Shanghai Pudong and Guangzhou Baiyun airports were up 36 and 33 per cent, respectively.

Wang Liang, executive deputy director of the Shanghai Circulation Economics Institute, said that poor management - not only by airline companies, but also airports and air traffic control (ATC) authorities - was mainly to blame for the massive flight delays on the mainland.

"Air traffic demand has ballooned, but management has lagged far behind," Wang said.

According to statistics from the Civil Aviation Administration, a quarter of flights were not on time last year.

Wang said ATC authorities should be more efficient in handling departures and other measures should be taken across the aviation industry to curb delays.

"Though quite a few airports have been built, there needs to be more feeder routes so pressure on the main routes can be eased," he suggested.

Wang Jiangmin , a staff member with the Beijing branch of China Southern Airlines, said limited resources had restricted the domestic development of civil aviation.

"There are not enough air routes and airports," he said.

According to statistics by FlightStats, a US-based website providing airport and flight information, mainland airports accounted for the top seven in terms of flight cancellations, and for the top eight in delays, among all departure airports in Asia and the Pacific region in the past month.

Beijing Capital International, which has had the world's second-largest passenger throughput in the past three years, was far ahead of all other airports in the region by recording delays or cancellations for more than 16,000 flights arriving at the airport and for about 20,000 departing flights during the period.

An average of nearly 220,000 people travelled through the airport every day last year, said the China News Service report.


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This article is now closed to comments

confucius was never known for good management!!!
military controls the airspace. that is the main reason for delays.
The report is extremely foggy in statistic for delay. It looks like a breakdown % of a list but they can’t be added up blaming 42% delays to commercial flights due to poor management. Should bad weather and military restrictions be counted as poor management? Bad location for weather and priority for military use are facts and not much management can do. Otherwise, it its too vague to just say poor management is the main cause of delays. May be it is too inconvenient for the public to know the real causes of delays especially at Beijing and Shanghai airports. I only question if the landing and takeoff are playing by the rule of schedule that the traffic control must honor. Would commercial airline pilots inform the exact reason when their schedule flight is bumped? Repeatly? Go by train is really better in China.
Why didn't SCMP seek to contrast the party line by interviewing pilots who fly between HK and mainland cities? Come on, Journalism 101.

Wang Jiangmin , a staff member with the Beijing branch of China Southern Airlines, said...."There are not enough air routes and airports,"
Rubbish there are too many. Cut half the flights. They are not necessary. Take the trains.
Very prescient of the the Ministry of Railways to go on a spending bender the last several years!
Finally some good insight on where the main problems are. Yes, there are not enough routes as too little air space is open for civil flights, causing many delays, but the failure of management is pretty disturbing, if not so unexpected.


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