2. Horizontal Air Services Agreement: allows EU airlines to fly from each EU Member State to China. In theory, this agreement will make it easier to accept Chinese-built aircraft within the European Union. The same is, of course, true for EU-built aircraft in China. While there is nothing new to see of European-built aircraft in China (Airbus is the most obvious), the most recent result could be that Chinese planes are flying in European skies. In more than 20 years of cooperation in the field of civil aviation, the EU and China reached an agreement for the first time on this sector with the signing of the BASA in May 2019. The agreement was the result of numerous rounds of negotiations between the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), conducted since August 2013, and is part of joint efforts by China and the EU to improve the implementation of civil aviation security standards (source: Xinhua News). BASA`s main objective is to support trade in aircraft and related products between the two regions. The deal “will benefit all industrial players in China and Europe,” said George Xu, CEO of Airbus China (source: Shine). These two agreements are expected to have a positive impact on EU-China air links, create jobs, boost economic growth and enable cultural exchanges between China and Europe, as former European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker said (source: Shine). This agreement is the result of several years of fruitful efforts by experts from the European Commission, EASA and CAAC. To date, COMAC has received more than 700 orders for its C919, mostly from Chinese customers. Compliance with basa is therefore essential for COMAC in order to increase its sales abroad and should contribute to shortening the verification procedure of the C919 for obtaining certificates of airworthiness.
As early as 2017, the CAAC and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) signed a BASE that mutually recognizes the regulatory systems related to the airworthiness of aeronautical products and articles. Comac then described this agreement as an important step forward (source: ECNS). With the signing of the BASA between the EU and China, China`s aviation safety standards appear to be widely accepted in the global civil aviation landscape. They no longer depend on the FAA. The signing of the agreement aims to further improve connectivity between the EU and China. Between 2008 and 2017, air traffic between regions doubled and will continue to increase. In 20 years, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to account for 40% of global air traffic, of which China will account for a significant share (source: European Commission). A bilateral safety agreement between European and Chinese aviation authorities entered into force on 1 September, paving the way for simpler assessment and certification processes for aircraft traders in both regions. The horizontal air services agreement allows all EU airlines to fly from each EU member state to China with a bilateral air services agreement with China, under which unused traffic rights are available.
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