Business / Industries

Second Chengdu airport to relieve strain

By Zhu Zhe ( Updated: 2014-03-06 18:53

Chengdu will begin construction of its second airport in the first half of next year, and maybe earlier, a senior local official said on Thursday.

The airport, located about 60 kilometers east of the city, will cost about 54.5 billion yuan ($8.9 billion) according to the initial budget, Tang Limin, head of the provincial development and reform commission, said.

"If everything progresses smoothly, the construction might begin at the end of this year," he said on the sidelines of the ongoing annual session of the National People's Congress in Beijing.

Construction will make Chengdu the third city on the mainland to have a second airport, following Shanghai, which already had two, and Beijing, where construction of a second airport will begin this year, he said.

Tang did not say when the new Chengdu airport would begin operating. Previous media reports said it might take three years to complete. The airport will be located east of Chengdu at the juncture of Jianyang city and Jintang, a county under the city's administration.

Because of rapidly growing passenger and cargo flow in and out of Sichuan province, the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport has become the fifth busiest airport on the Chinese mainland, following airports in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, according to the Sichuan Airport Group Co.

It is estimated that without relief provided by the new facility, the annual passenger flow of Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport would rise to 43 million by 2015, which is beyond its current capacity, said Li You, vice-chairman of the Chengdu Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Because of land, urban planning and environmental concerns, it is not possible to expand the current airport, so it's urgent to speed up the construction of the second airport, said Li, who is also in Beijing to attend the ongoing annual session of the CPPCC National Committee.

Previous reports said the new Chengdu airport will feature six runways and will be able to handle 80 million passengers per year.

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