(Yicai Global) Dec. 8 -- China will build a cluster of world-class airports in the northern Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region to improve connectivity and promote development.
Authorities will expand the Tianjin Binhai International Airport and Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport; build new regional aviation hubs in Xingtai, Cangzhou, Kangbao and Fengning; and offer 144-hour visa-free entry to international passengers in the area.
The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region's airspace resources are very tight, especially in the nation's capital, senior civil aviation expert Prof. Li Xiaojin told Yicai Global. Using larger aircrafts and restricting the use of small and medium-sized ones should increase operational efficiency, Li said.
The proportion of international passengers in the Beijing Capital International Airport will increase by 2 to 3 percentage points in 2020 after that city's new airport is open, per guidelines released by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
Major airports in the area will connect with railways to establish a coordinated air transport system by 2030, the guidelines state.
By then, Beijing's 'twin hub' airports will form one of the world's leading aviation centers and expanded and rebuilt regional runways in Tianjin and Shijiazhuang will be able to better handle volume. The government will promote the reconstruction and enlargement of aviation facilities in Tangshan, Zhangjiakou and Handan.
The guidelines include plans to optimize airspace, expand the coverage and accessibility of international routes and guide domestic small and medium-sized airports to link up with Beijing's 'twin hub' airports.
The guidelines encourage the area's main airports to support local ones in advancing aviation logistics and in facilitating the development of low-cost airlines.
Future networks linking rail and air hubs will make traveling in the region more convenient, said Li.