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Aviation to drive Guizhou growth

By Zhu Wenqian, Ouyang Shijia and Yang Jun | China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-15 10:12

Guizhou province is focusing on the growth of its aviation industry in a bid to forge an advanced transportation network and help the province to become more open.

Currently, Guizhou has 11 airports, which is 1.6 times higher than the nation's average density level and makes it the province with the highest density of airports in Southwest China.

By 2030, the province aims to have 88 airports, which can cover all the small towns in the area.

"The civil aviation and general aviation markets in Guizhou will grow rapidly. In the future, when tourists come to Guizhou, they can come by commercial flights, business aircraft or helicopters," said Wang Yong, a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress and president of Guizhou Airports Group Co Ltd, on the sidelines of the ongoing two sessions in Beijing.

The Guiyang Longdongbu International Airport, the only international airport in the province, currently operates on 173 domestic routes, a 60.2 percent jump from 2013. During the same period, the number of its international routes rose from eight to 22, surging 75 percent.

The Guiyang airport plans to add more routes connecting countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative. At present it has flight connections to Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Last year, the airport launched its first intercontinental flight to Milan, Italy.

"In addition, the operational quality of the flights in Guizhou province has improved significantly. During the Spring Festival holidays this year, more than 90 percent of the flights departed from the Guiyang airport on time," Wang said.

In 2017, a few regional airports in Guizhou province, including those in Zunyi, Tongren and Bijie, saw passenger flows exceed 1 million people. Moutai airport in the city of Renhuai, which started operations last year, has launched flights to most major Chinese cities. Within two months of opening, its passenger flow reached 100,000.

It is projected that by the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20), China will have 500 civil airports, and more than 5,000 general aviation aircraft will be in operation. The industry's value will exceed 1 trillion yuan ($1.6 billion), according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

"The regional aviation market is still in its initial stages of development in China. For the sector, this is one of the best markets and there are a lot of opportunities. There should be more suitable aircraft produced for flying in high-altitude areas in western China," said Li Guijin, a professor at the Civil Aviation Management Institute of China.

Wang added that Guizhou will continue to quickly expand the local civil aviation market to help the inland area to further open the door to the outside world, and it will also help to attract more tourists to visit the region.

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