Airport International News - October 2007
China To Open World’s Second Highest Airport in 2008
Posted by Paul Fiddian on 30/10/2007 - 10:03:20
China’s aviation regulator has announced the opening of a new airport will occur in May 2008. Located in Sichuan province, the new hub will be the second highest in the world – standing 4,280 metres above sea level.
The regulator’s announcement followed a successful test flight carried out on the 28th October 2007. The trial involved an Airbus A-319 operated by Air China.
The new airport’s cost is 960 million yuan. Within the Chinese government, the hope is that, when in operation, it will generate the investment needed in this part of China.
Its exact placement in Sichuan is close to the Gongga mountains, in the primarily ethnic Tibetan Kangding. It is a scenic area, but one so detached from urbanity that, according to the 11th century poet Li Bai, it would be easier to reach heaven.
Initial flights to the airport will operate to Kangding from Chengdu – Sichuan’s capital – with effect from May 1st next year. The duration of these flights, the regulator added in a statement, will be a little over 30 minutes.
New Chinese Airport Able to Handle 330,000 Passengers/Year
The design of Kangding’s airport allows it to handle annual passenger numbers of 330,000. In respect of aircraft types, its runway will permit the operation of mid-sized jet airliners such as the Airbus A-319 and Boeing 737 – both of which can carry around 120 passengers.
In recent times, China, as has been covered extensively in Airport International, has focused extensively on the need to both develop existing airport facilities and create new ones. In 2006, Tibet gained a third airport, while, several weeks ago, Beijing Airport successfully carried out the first simultaneous triple runway exercise in Asia.
The highest airport on the planet is Tibet’s Qamdo – a towering 4,344 metres above sea level
Source – Airport International’s Far East Correspondent
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