Chinese Visitors Participate in DRVSM Celebration
By Stan Ciurczak
The FAA’s long and cordial relationship with the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) began in l986 with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement. This led to the establishment by the FAA of a senior representative office in Beijing. Then, in February 2004, FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey visited China and signed a record of discussion with the CAAC that set forth a number of areas of cooperation between the FAA and the CAAC that will serve to enhance the safety and capacity of China's aviation system. The FAA and CAAC have planned more than 70 cooperative exchange activities in 2005 in all fields of aviation safety.
The FAA’s Air Traffic Organization (ATO) fully supports the U.S.-China Air Traffic Cooperation Program, which seeks to improve China’s aviation safety, capacity and efficiency, and to promote global cooperation in building a seamless operational environment. Under this program, China sent a team to the Tech Center in July 2005 to receive assistance in the matters necessary to implement the Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM). On July 20, 2005 when FAA employees around the country celebrated the six-month anniversary of Domestic Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum, the celebration at the Tech Center included guests from the Air Traffic Management Bureau (ATMB) of the CAAC.
Technical Center Director Anne Harlan presented awards to the members of the team during the ceremony. “The exceptional talent and expertise of this team played an integral role in DRVSM implementation,” Harlan said. “Their work will make the airspace system more efficient and expand our options in managing air traffic.”
Center testing was pivotal in the FAA’s ability to implement domestic reduced vertical separation minima. Center researchers designed, ran and analyzed simulations and assessed the results for the safety implications of a switch to RVSM. The Center continues to monitor the system, and it operates the Regional Monitoring Agency for North America, an arm of the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization.
China plans to implement the RVSM within the next few years, but the date is not yet set. Our Chinese visitors took home a deeper understanding of the U.S. air traffic control system and RVSM. The ATO and the ATMB will continue to cooperate in promoting global seamless operations in order to achieve mutual benefits.