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3 Dec, 2014

Beijing tightens rules for airports

By Wang Wen

Bejing, (China Daily) Updated: 2014-12-03 – The Beijing government has issued new airport rules with an eye on the growing number of conflicts between passengers and carriers in recent years.

The rules forbid entering an airport-controlled area without an airport pass, entering a taxiway, forcibly boarding and occupying an aircraft, climbing over and destroying airports’ protective fencing and other acts that threaten air transport safety and disturb airport order.

The list was part of a series of administrative measures at Beijing civil airports released by the city’s legal affairs office.

The measures will take effect Jan 1.

The measures also say that local executive departments will entrust airport management to implement administrative punishments in order to deal with illegal actions.

“It is correct for the local government to entrust airport management with administrative punishments,” said Liu Weimin, director of the Civil Aviation Management Institution of China’s Aviation Law Research Center.

The Shanghai government entrusted airport management as early as 1999 with regional regulations for Shanghai’s civil airports.

The State Council also released the Regulations on Civil Aviation Security in 1996. Seven acts in airports are prohibited by the regulations, including the four listed in Beijing’s administrative measures.

The regulations also said that passengers who commit illegal acts will be punished according to the Regulations of the country’s Administrative Penalties for Public Security.

“The regulations have been carried out for years, but why are they increasing?” Liu said.

Some passengers simply do not observe the regulations, he said.

“Passengers should safeguard their rights through legal procedures,” Liu added.

Some recent cases of encroaching on the tarmac or forcibly boarding mainly resulted from passengers’ seeking compensation after a flights’ delay or cancellation, said a senior captain from a domestic carrier who declined to be identified.

He said that airlines sometimes adopt a no-trouble attitude, so they compensate passengers who create disturbances, and there is only punishment when passengers act illegally.

The local government in Beijing also requires airport management to share flight information with local transport authority, according to the administrative measures.

Whenever many passengers are stranded, airport management should take actions to evacuate the passengers and cooperate with the transport authority and local government, the measures say.

Two civil airports operate in Beijing, and one of them, Beijing Capital International Airport, is the world’s second-busiest by turnover.

Construction on another large airport in the south of the city will begin next year and is scheduled for completion by 2019.