Asian air traffic might be facing a gridlock

Photo: Bill Larkins @ WikiCommons

Photo: Bill Larkins @ WikiCommons

Asian air traffic could be heading for “catastrophic gridlock,” if the region’s countries do not start to cooperate more, aviation experts warn. 

Air passenger traffic in the Asia-Pacific region is to grow by 5.7% a year between 2013 and 2017, compared with 3.9% annually in Europe and 3.6% in North America, IATA told The Straits Times.

“The situation right now is barely tolerable in some pockets of the region.  If we don’t do anything, my guess is that in five to 10 years, we will experience what Europe went through 15 years ago, a catastrophic gridlock,” said Hsin Chen Chung, head of the Air Traffic Management Research Institute at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

Countries should work together to deal with the increasing demand for international and domestic air travel in the region, he was quoted as saying.

Since Asian states are unwilling to share information about their air traffic capabilities, Hsin predicts than an open-sky policy such as the one in Europe will not be realistic. But the region should strive to set up common procedures and better technology for air traffic control, he said.

Read the full story at Strait Times

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