China To Build 97 New Airports By 2020

The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China has announced that its overall plans for national civil airports has been approved by the State Council.

According to this plan, by 2020 the total number of civil airports around China will be 244 with an additional 97 compared to the number of airports in 2006. There will be five regional airport groups: northern, eastern, central southern, southwest, and northwest.

This plan is estimated to cost RMB450 billion for airport construction. By the end of the 11th Five Year Plan, the number of domestic civil airports is expected to be about 190 with the additional 45 needing about RMB140 billion in construction capital.

After this plan has been completed, in 2020, about 82% of China's population will live within 100 kilometers or a 90-minute drive from an airport. By that time, national airports will maintain an annual growth rate of 15% and 11.4% for cargo and passenger throughput, respectively. The number of airports which exceeded the 30 million passengers per year threshold will be 13, compared with the current three; and the airports with a passenger throughput between 20 million and 30 million annually will increase from the current two to six; the number of airports with a passenger throughput between 10 million and 20 million annually will expand to a total of 10 compared to the current five.

The key task of the period from now to 2010 is to consolidate those important hub airports' construction and improve the service level and competitive ability; to expand and renovate some airports with insufficient transportation capacity but in important location; to build new airports to strengthen the airport networks around the country.