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China tightens supervision on foreign airlines over safety concerns

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BEIJING, May 20 (Xinhua) -- China has introduced a new program to tighten safety assessment and supervision over foreign airlines operating in China, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on Wednesday.

The new program is a supplement to CCAR-129, an operation specification created in 2005, which requires foreign commercial air carriers operating in Chinese airspace to do so in accordance with established CAAC norms.

The program specifies 34 assessment items, including accidents, to assess foreign airlines' operation in China.

With a starting score of zero, each airline has 12 points to deduct before the CAAC revokes its CCAR-129 compliance certificate and bars flights within China.

An airline will gain one point if it operates safely for six months in a row.

The program follows frequent air accidents in recent years. Some airlines' substandard operations pose huge safety risks, said the CAAC.

Currently, a total of 156 foreign air carriers have been cleared to operate in China, with 374,000 flights last year, accounting for 11 percent of the total flights in China.

International Civil Aviation Organization, the United States and European Union established similar programs ahead of China.

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