Airport International News - July 2012
China Set to Build 82 New Airports by 2015
Posted by Victoria Knowles - Airport International Reporter on 23/07/2012 - 04:10:00
China is set to build 82 new airports between 2011-2015, it was announced by Li Jiaxiang, director of the Civil Aviation Administration of the country. Plans also involve expanding 101 existing buildings.
Huang Min, director of infrastructure at the National Development and Reform Commission states that after the five year plan is complete, China will have 230 airports, up from the previous 182.
82 New Airports for China
By 2020, the increase in aviation transport aims to accommodate 89 percent of the total population. Accessibility will increase to within 100km for passengers.
Even with the changes, China has significantly lower airport numbers than other major countries. Brazil has about 700, with the United States residing approximately 19,000 airports.
Li asserts that China's airports are a thriving economy, earning 4.6 billion Yuan in 2011. However, when examining individual airports, 130 of them lost more than 2 billion Yuan. He explains that increased numbers will improve the network: "One tree will die, but if you plant more, it will become a forest, and the trees will grow higher and higher."
"The plan must consider future development space and not waste money on useless infrastructure," said Li.
Government officials claim that China has the biggest growth potential for the aviation market in the world. However, statistics suggest that India has the biggest growth potential. While China's population is to level off within the next two decades, India is projected to increase by half a billion people by 2050.
Increase Economic Development
Hopes are that China's aviation plans will increase regional economic development.
Li Yong, vice-minister of the Ministry of Finance asserts: "It's improper to assess an airport based solely on its fiscal state. What's required is a more comprehensive perspective in terms of the stimulation it can provide to the local economy."
Aviation law expert at the China University of Political Science and Law Zhang Qihui, states: "To some extent, small regional airports could play an important role in boosting economic development by spurring tourism. But small airports must still meet the equal safety and quality standards required of big airports."
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