by Xinhua writers Hu Tao, Mao Zhenhua, Wang Jinghuai
TIANJIN, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- China is accelerating the building of a national emergency air rescue system with characteristics of Chinese modernization by facilitating the progress of homegrown aircraft and various other coordinated moves.
"The situation of natural disasters in China is tough and complex. The building of emergency air rescue is a systematic work with great significance, and it is also of importance in promoting the modernization of the national emergency management system and capabilities," said Guo Zhiwu, a senior official with the Ministry of Emergency Management.
Guo made the remarks at the 6th China Helicopter Exposition held in north China's Tianjin Municipality.
He said that China's emergency rescue sector is making a comprehensive transition from mainly combating forest fires to meeting various challenges from natural disasters.
"Moving forward, we are building a system of emergency air rescue equipment that can meet the demands of the country's practical emergency rescue work," Guo added.
According to China's 14th Five-Year-Plan (2021-2025), China's national emergency management system will be improved by strengthening and improving the air rescue system and capabilities.
"Emergency rescue is characterized by urgency, difficulty and danger. China's complex geographical environment determines that we must have rescue equipment that can meet all rescue demands," said Xu Chaoliang, vice president with AVIC China Helicopter Research and Development Institute.
China must develop and put into use a series of helicopters that can safely carry out rescue operations in all natural disasters across the country, according to Xu, also chief designer of China's 13-tonne-level AC313 large civil helicopter.
The AC313 has a maximum take-off weight of 13.8 tonnes with external sling loads. It can carry up to 28 people, and can load up to five tonnes of water in combating fires.
"The Chinese-developed technologies, such as the small-diameter wide rotor blade, make this large helicopter capable of conducting rescue missions on high plateaus and sea rescues by boarding vessels," Xu said.
China's enhanced emergency air rescue capabilities are facilitating more homegrown aircraft to serve people's well-being.
"We are expected to be the pioneer in using more homegrown helicopters and serving emergency rescue operations," said Gong Quan, vice president with China Flying-Dragon General Aviation Co., Ltd. under the AVIC.
The company is now operating a fleet of 83 general aircraft, including 43 helicopters, especially a series of Chinese-developed civil helicopters.
A female helicopter pilot and flight instructor, Gong has piloted various models of Chinese helicopters on firefighting, flood rescue and other rescue missions. "They can fully meet the needs of various rescue operations in high mountains and valleys," said Gong.
"I am so honored to pilot the Chinese-developed helicopters to save our people from danger," she said.