NASA and the Chinese Aeronautical Establishment (CAE) have signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on aeronautics research that will advance air transportation automation for U.S. and Chinese aviation operations in China.

The details of the agreement were discussed during NASA Administrator Charles Bolden’s visit to China in August, when he met with officials from CAE and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

“China is expected to see a substantial increase in air travel in the near future,” Bolden said. “Our ability to work closely together will help to improve predictability of ground delays so air carriers can better plan departures to increase efficiencies. That will have a positive impact on U.S. carriers operating in China and the global aviation community.”

This five-year collaborative effort will acquire and analyze data from Chinese airports to identify potential efficiencies in air traffic management. The results of this collaboration are expected to lead to improvements in air transportation concepts and technologies, which will be beneficial to all nations.

This research complements the work currently being performed by the Airspace Operations and Safety Program within NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. NASA will accomplish this work in coordination with U.S. airlines and industry. It is also highly synergistic with work being performed by CAE and its partners, which includes CAAC, the China Civil Aviation Authority, the China Air Traffic Management Bureau, Chinese airports and airlines.

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