Nasa has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese Aeronautical Establishment (CAE) to carry out research that would help US and Chinese airport operators to manage traffic.

The five-year deal will help both the countries to improve their air transportation automation system.

As part of the deal, both Nasa and CAE will obtain and analyse data from Chinese airports to identify potential efficiencies in air traffic management.

"That will have a positive impact on US carriers operating in China and the global aviation community."

The two agencies are expecting to use the findings of the research to improve air transportation concepts and technologies that could benefit all the countries.

Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden said: “China is expected to see a substantial increase in air travel in the near future.

“Our ability to work closely together will help to improve predictability of ground delays so air carriers can better plan departures to increase efficiencies.

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“That will have a positive impact on US carriers operating in China and the global aviation community.”

For the research, which complements Nasa’s ongoing work under airspace operations and safety programme, the agency will collaborate with the US airlines and industry.

The research will also be benefitted by CAE and its partners, such as Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), China Civil Aviation Authority, China Air Traffic Management Bureau as well as Chinese airports and airlines.

CAE is China’s national aeronautical research organisation, and comprises 36 research institutes and centres.

It is primarily involved in fundamental and applied  research, construction and operation of national research facilities and other activities.