On December 16, 2017, the unveiling ceremony of the Aviation Dispute Arbitration Center and the Aviation Dispute Mediation Center of China Maritime Arbitration Commission (CMAC) was held in Beijing. More than 150 experts, scholars and relevant participants attended the ceremony. They came from the Ministry of Transport of P.R. China, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), the State Post Bureau of P.R. China, the China Air Transport Association, the Chinese Academy of Aeronautics as well as the fields of domestic and foreign major airlines, airports, aviation oil, aviation food, aircraft manufacturing, insurance, aircraft leasing, universities, law firms. The unveiling ceremony was hosted by Mr. Chao GU, Secretary-General of the CMAC. Mr. Pengqi LU, vice president of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and vice chairman of the CMAC, Mr. Dong WEI, director of the Department of Legal Affairs of the Ministry of Transport, and Mr. Rengang GUO, deputy director of the Policy and Law Department of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, attended the event and delivered speeches.

Mr. Pengqi LU stated in his speech that CMAC is the only and unique arbitration institution that is featured by admiralty, maritime, transport and logistics dispute resolution in China. As China has become the second largest economy in the world, one of the largest trading and investing countries and with the advancement of the “Belt and Road” Initiative and the construction of Maritime Power and in particular, Transportation Power strategy proposed by the 19th National Congress Report, CMAC has brought a new concept of “Big Traffic” and “Big Logistics” since the independent operation in May of this year. CMAC decided to give play to its advantages and enlarge its function for a greater development. The aviation field is an important part of the entire transportation chain which belongs to the concept of “Big Traffic” and “Big Logistics”. In addition, the Aviation Law of China has its origin drawn from the Maritime Law. The rapid development of the aviation industry requires a more professional and more efficient alternative dispute resolution system. Aviation dispute resolution should be one of the main session of the CMAC in the future. After the exchanges with the authorities, commercial associations, enterprises, lawyers, experts and scholars, and with the approval of the CCPIT, the CMAC decided to establish Aviation Dispute Arbitration Center and Aviation Dispute Mediation Center. As a starting point from this ceremony, the two Centers will rely closely on the support of the Ministry of Transport, CAAC and other authorities, as well as the enterprise community and the legal community. The two Centers will integrate expert resources in the field of aviation law, enrich the panel of aviation arbitrators and mediators, formulate a flexible and efficient procedural guideline combining the aviation arbitration and mediation, provide professional and efficient dispute resolution services, play an active role in avtion legal research and provide a platform for aviation legal research exchanges.

Mr. Dong WEI addressed in his speech that as a specialized arbitration institution for administering cases involving admiralty and maritime disputes, CMAC has been continuously improving the quality and the efficiency of case management level of service. The international cooperation has also been consistently expanding. Moreover, CMAC endeavors to provide public legal service, to enlarge the influence in the arbitration community at home and abroad. It proceeds to make great contribution to the shipping market, transport and foreign trade and it also demonstrates the vitality of arbitration in China and its positive role in the transportation sector. Today, while CMAC strives to maintain its traditional characteristics and advantages, it further expands its development into aviation. It is believed that in the near future, CMAC will make a larger expansion to other ways of transportations and multimodal transportation and will provide strong support for the transportation construction.

Mr. Rengang GUO stated that the source of law in the field of civil aviation are mostly derived from maritime law. There are many commonalities while great differences exist at the same time. In the aviation field, due to its characteristics of high-altitude and high-speed operation, many unique requirements have been put forward for the design, manufacture, and operation of aircrafts. A series of international conventions are heavily involved with the issues of special infringement, breach of contract, and property rights in the aviation field. Domestic legislation has been designed differently from the common law for aircraft infringement, leasing and registration. At the same time, the inherent characteristics of civil aviation also require deep integration between the corporate value chain and the industry value chain. Therefore, in such a specialized and systematic field, mediation and arbitration are considered to be the suitable means of dispute resolution. CMAC carried out a lot of positive trials and explorations in the field of aviation arbitration and gave full play to rich experience for years in arbitration. It is believed that the expansion of CMAC in the field of aviation will certainly provide professional service for the disputes resolution in the civil aviation. This new development will also inject new vitality into the legal research on civil aviation in China. The Department of Policy, Law and Regulation of CAAC, is willing to actively support the construction and development of the two Centers, and upgrade the level of professionalism in dispute resolution in the domestic field of civil aviation. At the same time, the two Centers will make effort to provide support for the internationalization of CAAC and ensure the implementation of the “Belt and Road” Initiative.

Mr. Pengqi LU, Mr. Dong WEI, Mr. Rengang GUO and Mr. Chao GU jointly inaugurated the Aviation Dispute Arbitration Center and the Aviation Dispute Mediation Center. The guests gave their warm applause and congratulations for witnessing the important moment of the two Centers.

After the ceremony, CMAC also held a forum on alternative dispute resolution for civil aviation.