(Yicai Global) June 13 -- Tibet will build three new feeder-line airports whose completion will raise the number of the northwestern Chinese autonomous region's airports to eight, ease travel to the traditionally inaccessible area, and thus boost its economic development, China's civil aviation agency announced at a press briefing.
Capital Airport Holding, Shanghai Airport Authority and China West Airport Group under the Shaanxi provincial government will undertake the construction, the groundbreaking for which is slated for next year, while the first choices for sites have been preliminary identified, with temporary meteorological stations completed for each one, state Xinhua News Agency reported June 11.
Tibet now boasts five airports, all designated high-elevation aerodromes [i.e. above 2,438 meters], said Bai Zhen, director of the Tibet CAAC branch. Tibet's five existing facilities constitute 12 percent of the world's highest airfields, and the three new ones will all lie above 3,900 meters.
Nine carriers, including Air China, China Eastern Airlines and Sichuan Airlines, ply the 86 Tibetan air routes. These carriers travel purely domestic routes, barring an international one local operator Tibet Air flies to Kathmandu, the capital of neighboring Nepal.
Editor: Ben Armour