The Civil Aviation Administration of China yesterday announced new measures to buttress the mainland aviation industry against the global financial crisis, including investment in infrastructure and tax benefits. 'The negative effects of the global financial crisis on China's aviation industry have been increasing,' the CAAC said on its website. 'In the face of such a severe situation, the CAAC has established 10 measures to counter risks and ensure stable growth.' The measures include pushing for further consolidation among mainland airlines. 'Big hitters must be formed to compete in the international market, while the domestic market should have orderly, measured competition,' said the CAAC. No new airlines will be approved before 2010, in order to prevent excessive competition, it said. The CAAC said it would encourage mainland airlines to postpone or cancel orders for new planes, reduce leasing and accelerate the retirement of old aircraft. Infrastructure investment will be accelerated, estimated at more than 400 billion yuan (HK$451 billion). This will include the construction of 50 airports, rebuilding 12 airports and the expansion of 78 airports. A further 10 billion yuan will be invested in air safety equipment and infrastructure. The CAAC said taxes would be waived on mainland-produced fuel on flights connecting Hong Kong and Macau, and international flights. In the first half of next year, airport construction fees, worth an estimated 4 billion yuan, will also be waived. The CAAC said 400 million yuan would be used to subsidise 100 air routes to poor, remote areas and routes operated by new, independent carriers. Forestry and emergency air services will be expanded. The CAAC said greater efficiency in flight times, and landings and departures could save 4.5 billion yuan per year.