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The 10th China Civil Aviation Development Forum: Shaping Brand New Future of Civil Aviation with Intelligence17/05/2019

On May 16, the 10th China Civil Aviation Development Forum was opened in Beijing with the theme of “Intelligent Civil Aviation — High quality Development of Civil Aviation in a New Scientific, Technological and Industrial Revolution”. Leung Chun-ying, Vice Chairman of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Li Xiaopeng, Minister of the Ministry of Transport, and Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, ICAO Council President, attended the forum and delivered speeches. Feng Zhenglin, Administrator of CAAC, delivered a keynote speech entitled “Shaping Brand New Future of Civil Aviation with Intelligence”. Li Jian, Dong Zhiyi, and Lyu Erxue, Deputy Administrators of CAAC, participated in the forum. Dong Zhiyi chaired the forum and presided over the opening ceremony. Li Jian will deliver a closing speech at the end of the two-day forum.

In his speech, Leung Chun-ying said that the new round of scientific, technological and industrial revolution has now entered an important phase and that high-quality development has become the direction of China’s economic development and the target of civil aviation development. The new round of scientific, technological and industrial revolution will provide new opportunities for addressing outstanding problems in civil aviation, new force for driving high-quality development of civil aviation, and new space for strengthening international cooperation in civil aviation. The civil aviation industry must seize this historic, game-changing and revolutionary opportunity to promote digital transformation and continuously enhance its capability to serve the economic and social development.

Feng Zhenglin stated in his keynote speech that at present, a new round of scientific, technological and industrial revolution, with information technology being the lead and “intelligence” the highlight, is unfolding, leaving in-depth impact on the way of production, living and even thinking of people and reshaping the civil aviation industry from each aspect of its structure, model and layout, and that riding this tide, China civil aviation started from the building of “smart airport” and “intelligent ATM” to explore the path for intelligent development.

Focusing on the topic of “shaping brand new future of civil aviation with intelligence”, Feng shared his views from these aspects. First, riding the tide of intelligence to firmly grasp the strategic opportunities for civil aviation development. We should solve development difficulties with intelligence to effectively address a range of problems and challenges such as increasing safety risks and higher requirement for customer service experience, so as to bring aviation safety to a new qualitative level and make passengers fully enjoy the sense of gain and happiness brought by civil aviation development. We should use intelligence to expand market space. E-commerce-backed new ancillary and cargo business models should be introduced to generate strong support for civil aviation to expand the market; information asymmetry among different sectors should be solved to facilitate in-depth integration of civil aviation with its upper-stream and lower-stream sectors and with other means of transport; and new publicity tools as enabled by artificial intelligence and mobile intelligent networks will offer more flexible channels for civil aviation to expand market space. We should use intelligence to improve competitiveness. With digital transformation, industry entities such as airlines and airports will be able to realize more flexible organizational structure, more efficient handling of passenger and cargo transport and continuously lowered production costs, so as to provide passengers and consignors with more choices, bigger say and better service, and to obtain greater advantages in market competition. Second, adopting the intelligent way to pool the reformative impetus for civil aviation development. We should update our understanding of intelligent civil aviation to consider information data as the most promising driving resource in the current digital, networked, and intelligent process, the remaking of processes and organizational reform as the core of intelligent civil aviation building, and the improvement of staff qualification and restructuring of human resources as the fundamental support for intelligent civil aviation building. We should build a future scenario of smart civil aviation by developing a civil aviation ecosystem which is a seamless integration of various resources and elements, including business flow, information flow, capital and value flow and shaping a smart aviation industry featuring "overall perception, wide connectivity, human-machine collaboration, and global sharing". We should create an institutional environment for smart aviation development by updating regulations and standards in line with industrial changes. Third, taking the smart path to blaze a new trail in civil aviation development. We should carry out smart-oriented development strategies, including taking smart development as a major driving force for the innovative development of civil aviation, speeding up the transformation from digitized technology application to in-depth integration of smart technology into aviation, in a bid to contributing Chinese wisdom to global smart civil aviation development. We should nurture a development pattern centering around intensive sharing. From the macro perspective, information technology will enable smart allocation of production factors; from the micro perspective, information technology can be a driving force for civil aviation enterprises to evolve towards an organizational structure with passenger value chain at its core; and from the perspective of governance, information technology can assist government in making more scientifically sound decisions, implementing policies more efficiently, and conducting industry oversight more precisely, thus comprehensively promoting the high quality development of civil aviation. We should create a development mechanism featuring win-win cooperation by strengthening the synergetic cooperation among different entities, modes of transport, upstream and downstream industry chains, and aviation and non-aviation scientific research entities and coordinating efforts across different stakeholders to promote global smart civil aviation development.

The forum focused its discussion on the integration of technology, the optimization of systems and processes, and the optimization of organizational structure and industry governance, fully reflects the development characteristics of “new era, new theme, new conception, new action”, and consisted of four speech sessions and three panel discussions. A total of 81 guests delivered speeches. Focusing on the four topics of “the New Scientific, Technological and Industrial Revolution and the Future of Civil Aviation”, “Exploration and Practice of Global Intelligent Aviation Development”, “Challenges for Intelligent Civil Aviation Development under the New Scientific, Technological and Industrial Revolution”, and “In-depth Convergence from Application of Digital Technologies to Intelligent Aviation”, the delegates made in-depth exchanges on the new trend of intelligent civil aviation, shared the successful stories of intelligent civil aviation development all over the world, discussed the problems that may be encountered in the process of intelligent civil aviation development.

Forum participants are of the view that the new scientific, technological and industrial revolution is profoundly changing the way manufactures produce and people live, which will lead to revolutionary changes in our future world. As new technologies such as digitization, big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence are being rapidly applied worldwide in the civil aviation industry, the global civil aviation industry is rapidly entering the era of “intelligent civil aviation”. In the future, there will be an integrated development of intelligent airlines, smart airports and smart cities, and application of intelligent technologies will effectively enhance the manufacturing capacity and operational efficiency of the global civil aviation industry, spurring a new round of industrial changes in the civil aviation industry.

Present at the forum were nearly 400 representatives from 13 countries and regions (including Hong Kong and Macao SARs) and five international and regional organizations, including a number of senior officials from foreign governments, heads of relevant departments of the State Council, representatives of the Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR, senior domestic and foreign business leaders, executives of a number of domestic airlines, airports, service support entities and aviation manufacturers, as well as leaders of civil aviation regulatory authorities.

The China Civil Aviation Development Forum, which is a large-scale international forum hosted by CAAC with the approval of the State Council, has been successfully held nine times. High-level forum speakers, forward-looking and problem-addressing oriented speeches, and diversified speech forms, added to the attraction and influence of the forum, making it the largest and highest level exchange platform for China's civil aviation industry.

During the forum, the leaders of CAAC met with Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, ICAO Council President, Khaw Boon Wan, the Minister of Transport of Singapore, Derek Kan, Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation, Salvatore Sciacchitano, the Representative of Italy on the ICAO Council, Patrick Ky, Executive Director of European Aviation Safety Agency, and Carl Burleson, Acting Deputy Administrator of US Federal Aviation Administration.