China tells pilots to improve landing skills to deal with Beijing smog
BEIJING (REUTERS) - Chinese authorities have told pilots who fly to Beijing that they must be qualified to land their aircraft in the low visibility bought about by smog, state media said on Thursday, as the government tries to reduce flight delays due to pollution.
Beginning Jan. 1, pilots flying from the country's 10 busiest airports into the Chinese capital must be qualified to use an instrument landing system on days when smog reduces visibility to around 400 metres, the official China Daily said, citing China's civil aviation regulator.
"It is part of a series of measures the administration took recently to raise the flights' on-time performance," the newspaper quoted an unnamed aviation official as saying.
Despite investing billions of dollars in new airports and advanced Western-built aircraft, China suffers a chronic problem with flight delays, partly because of the country's often wildly-fluctuating weather and partly because the military tightly controls most of China's airspace.